02 February 2015

Bois sculptés etc.

Today in France is la fête de la Chandeleur, known also as Candlemas. It's crêpes day. We'll be having buckwheat crepes (called galettes au sarrasin) as our main course, filled with ham, mushrooms, and melted cheese. Then we'll have sweet wheat flour crepes filled with cherry jam or lightly stewed blueberries — or just butter, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of sugar — for dessert. One of each, maybe

In Christian legend and ceremonies, La Chandeleur marks the presentation of the Christ child at the synagogue 40 days after his birth. The photos here of wooden sculptures, which I took in the village of Montréal in Burgundy last October, depict another event in the life of Jesus: his baptism by St. John (the Baptist).

These carved oak figures date back to the 1520s and were the work of two brothers whose family name was Rigolley or Rigoley. Their work was funded largely by the French Renaissance king François 1er — Francis I. He's the king who had the Château de Chambord built here in the Loire Valley. He visited the village of Montréal twice, it seems.

I find myself wondering what the interior of this old church in the little village of Montréal, near Avallon, looked like 200, 500, or 800 years ago. It was built in the 12th century, but it was the site of restoration work in the 19th. Now the inside is very plain and all white, with few decorations besides the ones you see in these photos.

The figures above are, I believe the three kings — les Rois mages — who traveled from the east, following a star — to see the newborn Christ child, according to Saint Matthew. The beauty of the wood carving is evident.

Here are two web sites I've using as source material for this series of posts:

http://www.montreal89.com/index.htm and http://www.montreal-en-bourgogne.com/index.html

P.S. I'm going to look at and test drive a car this morning. This is getting serious. It's a car I just happened to notice on a dealer's lot on my way to the grocery store a couple of weeks ago. That's how I bought my now-14-year-old Peugeot when we first arrived in Saint-Aignan all those years ago. Wish me luck.


elgee said...

Good luck, Ken! Is it going to be another Peugeot?

Gosia k said...

So I believe ypu present shortly your new vehicle...

Ken Broadhurst said...

In my life, I've had a Renault and a Peugeot. Loved them both. Now I'm getting a Citroën. I drove the car and am nearly completely decided at this point. Tomorrow I have to commit.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Yes, tomorrow I'll take my camera with me. Forgot it this morning. Then I'll post about it.

Seine Judeet (Judith) said...

Oooh, oooh, great fun! A new car! Do they do trade-ins there, too, or do you have to sell your current one on your own?

Love this church, and love these sculptures :)

Ken Broadhurst said...

We are keeping the old car. It runs great but it's not worth much officially. It'll be nice to have two cars again, after nearly 12 years with just one. We always had two cars in the U.S. before moving to France. I've always wanted to own a Citroën, so now the time has come.

That church in Montréal en Bourgogne was really beautiful.

chm said...

These wood sculptures are absolutely beautiful, even though heads are out of proportion. But, maybe, it's on purpose.

It seems to me that the village of Montréal in Burgundy is definitely worth le détour.

Can't wait to see the picture of the new addition to the family. No problem with adoption? LOL

Evelyn said...

LOL chm about the adoption. I remember your wanting a Citroen. Looking forward to seeing the new baby.

Tim said...

You don't see something as beautiful as those sculptures every day. I wonder if the sculptures knew how the grain would add bulk to the clothes, or after nearly 500 years of polishing how the wood would seem to glow? Probably they did. What fabulous work. Pauline

The Beaver said...

Bonjour Cousin

This sounds like today's adoptions. You have to pay( sometimes quite a bit) to get possession.
Groundhog day Punxsutawney Phil forecasts six more weeks of winter ( pas un jour de répit depuis le 4 Janvier dans notre coin )