19 January 2018

The Maxenceul reliquary at Cunault, part 2

Here's the second batch of photos of the châsse or reliquary chest at the Eglise Notre-Dame de Cunault. I've muted the colors, especially the red and yellows, on these, and I went back and did the same on the photos I posted yesterday.

One photo I didn't take back in 2006 was a full view of the chest itself. You can see it here however. What I'd like to know is its actual dimensions, but I can't find that information and my memory is vague.

On that blog I just linked to for a photo of the chest I read that primitivement the chest, in the form of a church, was covered in thin silver "leaf" with black markings to make it resemble the work of a goldsmith. It was later painted as we see it now.

Here's a link to a site that has a lot more photos of the interiors and artwork at Cunault. In it I read that because there are no representations of St. Maxenceul on the chest, it is assumed that it was named after him long after it was placed in the church, and it may well hold relics of another saint or of the Virgin Mary.

I was happy to find these photos in my archives and I've enjoyed working on them and reading about the châsse at Cunault. P.S. This blog has an even better photo of the reliquary chest.


  1. Just like you, I went twice to Cunault, but fifty years apart! My main recollection, as I said before, is the whiteness of the stone, the beautiful light inside the church and the elevation of the nave. In 2006, I don't recall any chair or pew and I don't remember seeing this amazing reliquary. It must have been rather small.

    Later, I'll try to fiddle with the photos you posted yesterday and see what I can come up with. The photos of the châsse shown in the two links are also somewhat reddish.

    Later, also, I'll try to find my own 2006 photos of Cunault (if I have any).

  2. The arches carved on the chest are pretty amazing...quite delicate and detailed.

  3. The faces are remarkable. I wonder if, like the pottery army in Xian, they were meant to be portraits of existing people.


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