17 January 2018

Cunault : mère et enfant

Two of the most striking pieces of statuary in the Église Notre-Dame de Cunault are respectively 900 and 500 years old. And one of its most impressive artifacts, a reliquary chest, is 800 years old. The church itself was built over a period of 200 years from the 11th to the 13th centuries.

This Virgin and Child, carved in wood, is from the 12th century. One page I read said it came from or is at least in the style of works done in the Auvergne region of central France.

The work above, also in wood but painted, is from the 13th century. More about it tomorrow.

Finally for today, this Pietà goes back to the French Renaissance of the 16th century, according to what I've read.

Here's a close-up of the Vierge de Pitié, the French term for this kind of statue, or Mater dolorosa (Latin). I assume it was the work of an artist, or artists, in the Loire Valley, but I haven't found much firm information about it.


  1. Thanks for these beautiful pictures, Ken.

  2. That first sculpture, Virgin and child, is magnificent. The word which immediately came to my mind was hieratic.

  3. Oh, great!
    That first one will be going into my Romanesque unit. Merci :)

  4. The Pieta is lovely and moving, illuminated in its niche.

  5. A couple of weeks ago I looked up the Cadogan guide you cite. I'm one of those who reads the tiny print on the copyright page, and in the case of travel guides checks to see who the lead author was. Anyway, this one is someone who's half French, so perhaps he has more than professional interest in his topic.


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