Saturday, 29 August 2015

Mediaeval Colouring In The Abbey Church of Saint Austremoine, Issoire, France.


Originally Posted by Dennis Aubrey on VIA LUCIS

Text and Illustrations from VIA LUCIS

This Article was generated by reading an excellent Post on ONCE I WAS A CLEVER BOY



Stained-Glass Windows at Basilique Saint Austremoine,
Issoire (Puy de Dôme), France.
Photo by P. J. McKey.
Illustration: VIA LUCIS


We are all accustomed to see Romanesque and Gothic Churches with their austere, Bone-White Pillars, Walls, and Vaulting, and assume this look was the intent of the builders. When modern Churches in The Classical Style are built, they usually follow this aesthetic guideline. The truth is that the Churches were often brightly painted with geometric patterns, frescoes, and polychrome Capitals.

In many Churches, we can see the remnants of these paintings, like in the Basilique Saint Julien, in Brioude, France, among others. The colours may be faded, now, but we can still make out the Oranges, Reds, Greens and Blues that once adorned the structure. But in one Church in particular, we can see the effect of the originals. The Abbatiale Saint Austremoine, of Issoire, in the Puy-de-Dôme, France, the mountainous centre of The Auvergne, was restored in the 19th-Century in almost shocking style. This Monastic Church is a riot of deep, rich colour.



Basilique Saint Austremoine,
Issoire, France.
Photo by P.J. McKey.
Illustration: VIA LUCIS


PJ’s shot of the Morning Sun streaming through The Transept Windows is one of the best photos of our 2010 trip. It perfectly illustrates how the combination of shape, colour, and light, can create a stunning view of the Church. To the Mediaeval Monks, who worshipped here, this must have been a sight of transcendent beauty.



Afternoon Sun on a Pillar
in the 
Basilique Saint Austremoine,
Issoire, France.
Photo by Dennis Aubrey.
Illustration: VIA LUCIS


In addition to the painting, there are a number of Stained-Glass Windows that throw great swatches of coloured light across the Interior Walls of the Church. The effect of the light, from the Stained-Glass Windows, invests a second layer of colour on the polychrome surfaces.

Even without the effects from the Exterior lighting, the painted Interior emphasises the structural beauty of the Church. The polychrome patterns reinforce the receding Arches, Pillars, and Groin Vaults, demonstrating the harmony and balance that are the hallmark of this 11th-Century Benedictine Abbey Church.



South Aisle of 
the Basilique Saint Austremoine,
Issoire, France.
Photo by Dennis Aubrey.
Illustration: VIA LUCIS

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