✿ The Artist (PJ McKey) ✿


During the Romanesque period, the arts were pressed into service by the church as a medium of mass-communication with which to address an ever-increasing but largely illiterate public. The teachings of the church, the hierarchy of society, and the relationship of the church and the secular world provided  the subject matter. But that said, how […]

✿ Gofridus me fecit ✿ (PJ McKey)


One incredible feature of Romanesque art in all forms is the fact that the creators are, for the most part, anonymous. No headlines, no public tributes or fame acknowledge their skill and accomplishments. It was enough to create for the greater glory and love of God. The capital sculpture in the churches offers a clear […]

✿ Stone and Light ✿ (PJ McKey)


The Haute-Provence is Van Gogh country; immense blue skies, fierce mistral winds that blow constantly and a powerful sun that bakes colors into intensities that send artists running for their brushes. Van Gogh came here to try to paint the light; it is said by some that he went mad in the attempt. I understand […]

Getting the shot redux (PJ McKey)


Photographs are elusive. They are images, moments seen or missed, teasing at the corners of our consciousness. Once you find them and know they are there, they must be captured and this is where Dennis’ style differs so completely from mine. Our photography of the Romanesque churches is a bit like a safari. There is […]

Bones (PJ McKey)


The Église Saint-Pierre in the town of Parthenay-le-Vieux near Poitiers is mentioned for the first time in the texts in 1092. Today, it is an empty church, privately owned. On this day, it was being unconsciously watched over by a house painter working on the house next door. Our equipment and question about whether church […]

The Artist (PJ McKey)


During the Romanesque period the arts were pressed into service by the church as a medium of mass-communication with which to address an ever-increasing but largely illiterate public. The teachings of the church, the hierarchy of society, and the relationship of the church and the secular world provided subject the subject matter. But that said, […]

The Survivors of History (PJ McKey)


There is an extensive strip of land in the north of France looks oddly new. This is unusual in a country that has been settled for thousands of years and bears that history still in its everyday surroundings. We can see the physical remains of Celts, Gauls, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs even before the medieval […]

Faces of the Romanesque (PJ McKey)


I have found many faces in the Romanesque. They look out at you from corners, capitals, naves, portals and cloisters. Made of stone or wood, they give the churches an immediate human dimension. Occasionally I see one that looks like someone I know.

Stone and Light (PJ McKey)


I’ve come to understand that it’s not really the churches we photograph. We really try to photograph the light. It’s the light that creates the spaces as it plays across the surface of the stone.