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(1,105 words)

Author(s): Jacqueline Leclercq-Marx
There are some analogies between the decoration accompanying the inscriptions of the oldest reliquaries and those on monumental tombs; each expresses the desire to perpetuate the memory of a deceased person whose existence was marked by great piety. This also explains and justifies the presence of orans (praying) figures on the caskets, as for example on the seventh-century reliquaries of St Bonnet-Avalouze and Mumma. Similar reasons are behind the depictions of Christ and the saints, from whom the donor requests individual help in the form…

Accounts of Art in Churches

(1,507 words)

Author(s): Jacqueline Leclercq-Marx
Wall painting and monumental sculpture were rarely described as such in the high Middle Ages. The same is true of ecclesiastical furnishings, which were even less often made the object of aesthetic appreciation, even if the skill of the artist was praised because of the value of the materials. As for architecture, it rarely serves as anything other than the setting for narratives of miracles or murders. This is why descriptions of works of art - including that of the architecture of St James of Compostela - contained in the fifth book of the Liber Santi Jacobi, known as the Pilgrims' Guide to …

Sculptural Decoration

(2,079 words)

Author(s): Jacqueline Leclercq-Marx
Analysts of decorative sculptural programs thus far have not managed to define a specific program type for the exterior or the interior of the church. And it is likely that none ever existed. Indeed, both contemporary reports and literary descriptions point to a considerable similarity between the décor of pilgrimage churches, or of churches situated along the pilgrimage routes which lead there, and that of other types of churches. One finds the same great theophanies on the exterior portals, an…