18 September 2011

L'Eglise Notre-Dame à Mortagne

Here's a post about the Notre-Dame church in Mortagne-au-Perche for a Sunday morning. When it comes to colorful pictures, you can't beat stained glass windows. Or flowers. Actually, taking decent photos of stained glass windows requires some practice.

Three saints who played important roles in the history of
Mortagne are depicted in this 20th-century window.

The secret is to zoom in on the glass panels without leaving too much of the dark border around them. The high contrast of the bright glass with the stone border — it's usually pretty dark inside churches — will give you washed out colors. Or you'll get a blurry shot because there just isn't enough light getting into the camera lens.

This picture is one I took at noon,
up close to the church

The church in Mortagne looks severe and forbidding to me. It's not graceful at all, at least from the outside. It was built in the 16th century in the flamboyant Gothic style.

This shot is one I took from farther back at dusk,
when the light was warmer.

According to what I've read, the church in Mortagne has four 16th-century windows. All the other windows are from the 20th century. In the older windows, Biblical figures are often depicted wearing 16th-century clothes.

In at least one modern window, soldiers in World War I uniforms are depicted praying with Joan of Arc, who died 500 years earlier. So be it. I just like the colors. As usual, you can click on any of the pictures to see them in a larger size.


  1. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the great hint on taking pics of stained glass. I'll be taking more care in the future and follow your advice.

  2. Another thank you for the tip and also for the beautiful pics in yesterday's post which I just read now.


  3. Thanks so much for the tip on shooting stained glass windows! Beautiful images, as usual!

  4. Stunnnnnnning! You know I love stained-glass windows... beautiful job photographing them, Ken. I love your tip-- takes someone with experience to give us this kind of information :)

  5. These are so beautiful. Thanks for the tip on getting good pictures of stained glass.

  6. I wonder what the church people said about the soldiers.

  7. I'm enjoying the windows more here than I did when I was actually there. There's something not right about that...

    I love anything with Joan of Arc. Having her followed by modern day people is sort of the idea behind "all of the saints" ie, Christians that came later. Still having soldiers in the church is creepy.

  8. Ken, what struck me is the stained window which celebrates the memory of the two 2 French brothers, Roger et André VALLEE, one of them was a catholic priest, who died in concentration camps :


    "Deux jeunes hommes habillés en « déportés » les frères Vallée, jeunes chrétiens morts en camp de déportation (1944-1945) à cause de leur engagement militant au coeur du nazisme persécuteur."



    Did you take a picture of this stained window ? I think I did...

    Bonne soirée !



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