If I were the photographer I wanted to be, would it be Helmar Lerski, whose faces burn into one’s soul with a “harsh and beautiful light”? Would I be Edouard Boubat, who made the ordinary marvelous? Certainly I would have thought that faces would be my subject, looking for the elusive and dangerous soul. But […]
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 […]
Many people comment on our photos that they are surprised by the amount of color that appears in the churches. Some prefer the austere unadorned stone and the consider the colored churches garish. But in reality, what we commonly perceive about the Romanesque churches is essentially false, the product of 19th century restorations. The fact […]
Dallas Stopover « Joe McNally’s Blog. Nothing to add here – Joe McNally’s blog says it all.
Sometimes when you are shooting at these beautiful churches you can lose all sense of time. On the day that we photographed the abbey church in Lavaudieu in the Auvergne, we had already shot the extraordinary Basilica Saint Julien in Brioude for three exhausting and exhilarating hours. We could have called it a day but […]
The Via Lucis collection of photographs of Romanesque churches has historical precedents, of course. There are thousands and thousands of photographs in existence, many of them superb professional images, but there are two great historical collections that I would like to honor in this post. As discussed in previous posts, the French government established the […]
It seems to me that I’ve spent a lot of time talking very seriously about these Romanesque and Gothic churches, so much so that perhaps it may appear that my view of them is pretentious and self-important. I haven’t spent much time talking about how simply beautiful they are. Trying to figure out a modern […]
To find out what is important to a people, we must see the promptings of their dreams as much as the promptings of their appetites.
This post must begin with an apology – in the first essay about the restoration of churches, I used clever phrases instead of dealing with the difficult issues. “Restoration Tragedy” was not really about tragedy, like Abadie’s violation of the Cathédrale Saint Front in Perigueux, the bombing of the cathedrals in Reims and Cologne, or […]
A church “must be capable of bearing the weight of mystery, awe, reverence, and wonder which the liturgical act expresses,” so that “we see and experience” both the art and architecture and something beyond it.