18 July 2013

Photos of Saint-Aignan wall paintings

These are all photos of wall paintings in the crypt of the church at Saint-Aignan. The paintings date back to the 12th and 15th centuries — 600 to 800 years ago. This is not the first time I've posted photos of these wall paintings, but they are worth another look.

And I'll just quote some information from the Cadogan Loire guidebook:

“The high point of the church interior is the crypt.” [Ha ha ha. The crypt is actually the lowest part of the church.] “This was an older church upon which the larger one above was plonked. The dark, dank place contains some fine vestiges of Romanesque wall paintings and capitals; it also offered excellent conditions for a local wine merchant to keep his stock in the last century, saving this level from the clinical restoration carried out above.”

“The most original painting depicts events not from the life of St Aignan but from that of St Gilles; here he performs acts of charity and miracles, clothing a beggar, healing a man bitten by a snake bite [sic] and even praying powerfully enough to rescue a ship from being wrecked.”

“A grandiose Christ in Majesty was painted in the inner chapel. He is flanked by St Peter and St James Minor, who appear to bow before his glory thanks to the curve of the ceiling. At the feet of their robes, cripples grovel, one with a stick holding out a coin, another moving along on walking irons.”

“The frescoes to the side of this scene are much later, from the 15th century, but also show penitent, frail mortals, the lord of St-Aignan, Louis II de Chalon, and his second wife, Jeanne de Perellos. They caused a terrible scandal...

...in 1420, when they eloped from the Burgundian court — Louis was unfortunately already married to Marie de la Trémoille.”

“Look out too for a 16th-century interpretation of the Last Judgement [sic], illustrating what Louis and Jeanne might well have lived in fear of.”

I haven't tried to coordinate text and photos in this post. I'll leave that up to you.


  1. My heavens, these are wonderful! Thanks!

  2. It's so much better to see these through your photos than to try to see them in the dim light of the crypt. We tried.

    "Judgement" is British spelling, but you do have a good eye, Ken, and that's one of the many things I appreciate about your blog.

  3. Judy, merci.

    Carolyn, I just wanted to make sure that readers didn't think that I had made a transcription mistake.


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