The abbey or monastery that was founded in Blois in the year 924 was dedicated to a saint named Laumer (or Lomer). The Benedictine monks who founded it were fleeing Vikings who had invaded what is now called Normandy, to the north. The existing church in Blois is sometimes called « l'église Saint-Nicolas Saint-Laumer ». It's a long story.
The photos in this post show closer-in to farther-out views of the chapelle Saint-Laumer inside the église Saint-Nicolas and its vitraux (stained-glass windows). On the French Patrimoine-Histoire web site I read:
La chapelle Saint-Laumer est la chapelle des fonts baptismaux. Les vitraux contemporains de l'atelier Pierre Gaudin, plongés dans une architecture romane, créent une atmosphère assez féerique.
("The St. Laumer chapel houses the church's baptismal fonts. Twentieth-century stained-glass windows designed and fabricated by the artist Pierre Gaudin and his collaborators, set in this Romanesque architectural environment, create a magical atmosphere.")
So the ancient name of the Saint-Nicolas church is Saint-Laumer. The Benedictine monks arriving from the north built or were granted the right to occupy an earlier church on the site, but that building was destroyed by fire in the early years of the 12th century. The existing church, as usual modified and expanded over the centuries — the soaring spires for example, date back only to the 19th century — was built later, in the 12th and 13th centuries. I read somewhere that the name of the church was changed to Saint-Nicolas in honor of another Blois church, one that did not survive the 18th-century French Revolution.
Writing the detailed history of a building like this church is a much more daunting task than writing the biography of a human being. The church has stood for nearly 10 centuries and gone through many changes and "improvements" over time. People in different epochs and eras have modified it to suit their tastes and needs. Such is the world. I took these photos last Friday, 05 July 2019.
These windows are more interesting and moving. I guess because there's figures in them rather than just being abstract.ReplyDelete
The colors in the abstract windows are more varied and muted. I guess I like them for that.ReplyDelete
I like the colors and composition of the abstract stained-glass windows, but, just like Diogenes, I think the figurative ones are more fluid, showing more movement and not as static-looking. Their colors are very nice too and contribute to the atmosphère.ReplyDelete
I think the point of the abstract windows is to let colorful light flood the cathedral. Those dark red figurative windows look a little like fascist art to me. But what do I know?Delete
Beautiful. I like the colorful flowers under the windows. I think the entire effect is warm and full of life. I had to look up St. Lomer. I had never heard of him.ReplyDelete
I liked the flowers too.Delete
Can you imagine... fleeing from marauding Vikings!?ReplyDelete
Your photos of these windows, in this setting, really help me appreciate them. Esthetically, my favorite kind of stained glass, is the medieval style, like in Chartres, but you can't help but find these striking. Plus, your photos of stained-glass windows, Ken, are always so well done -- you always manage to capture the color and the brightness of them, despite being inside, where it's hard to capture that kind of photo.
The key is to focus closely on the window, leaving as little of the dark background as possible in the frame. As for the marauding Vikings, the key was to flee south and west as quicky as possible.Delete
The first photo shows so much reflected color and the flowers make it wonderful. What a gift these photos are to your readers! Merci bien.ReplyDelete
: ^ )Delete