Mysterium Tremendum (Dennis Aubrey)


I should let everyone know right now that they can hold Gordon Stewart accountable for this post. The blame is entirely his because he should know by now the fascination certain phrases have for me and how they lead me down arcane and convoluted passes. On a recent post he wrote “As I read your […]

The Redeemer’s Almond (Dennis Aubrey)


To honor Easter Sunday, we’ll post a selection of shots of Christ in Majesty from various Romanesque portals in France. The first is the exquisite centerpiece of the north portal tympanum at Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire. Sophisticated and elegant, the sculpture still has traces of the original polychrome paint. The following image from the western portal tympanum of […]

Sculpted facades in the Aquitaine (Dennis Aubrey)


We have written many times about the devastation experienced by so many churches in this region. Three great convulsions did most of the damage – the Hundred Years War, the Wars of Religion, and the French Revolution. Sometimes it seems miraculous that anything survived, but survive these churches did. The architectural glories of the Charente-Maritime, […]

Two Catalan Lintels (Dennis Aubrey)


Many scholars believe that the origins of the Romanesque style are found in the French department of the Pyrénées-Orientales, part of ancient Catalonia. The abbey churches at Saint Martin-du-Canigou and Saint Michel-de-Cuxa are part of this architectural renaissance. Hand-in-hand with the architectural innovation were developments in sculpture. This post will discuss two small fragments of […]

The Mountain Abbey on Canigou (Dennis Aubrey)


Christian monastic churches were often found in the most remote and inaccessible areas, partly because of the early Christian hermits and their monasteries. One only has to look at the Cenobic monasteries in Egypt and Cappadocia, Greek churches in Meteora, or the Syrian churches in Maalula to see that this is a long-standing tradition. These […]