Something Different in Romanesque Art
It May Present Aesthetic Conflicts
The Stonework Alone Is Interesting
Chauvigny's old historic center is very small. But it is in my opinion one of the best things about visiting here. I urge you to take an hour or so and simply walk through the small streets and view the cobblestones, the old house facades and picturesque views.There is free parking at the entrance to the old city.more
Atop the old city, just behind the Eglise St. Pierre is located the museum. There is also an observation area called the Musee Panorama which is obviously named for its placement at the highest point and the views that it provides.The museum has local artifacts and displays which show the cities lineage back to the 12th century or even further....more
Within the ruins of the Chateau Baronnial, is a bird training facility and aviary. There are several different types, such as eagles, and various sizes too, but one thing for sure is that their training is all of the highest level.They have regular presentations and shows where the birds are set off to perform their aerial feats, then they all...more
If you are a castle buff, there are several in varying degrees of disrepair in the area. There are three close to the Church of St.-Pierre. We merely eye-balled them. We parked next to the Donjon of the castle of Gouzon. It houses a museum but we did not go in and so do not know what industrial archeology is (stone-hammers?).more
The biblical scenes are confined to alternate capitals around the choir. The others in this area are of horrible monsters, some of them devouring sinners. The biblical scenes on a single capital are related and the subjects on one face often spill over to the next. The use of “edge carved figures” is minimal suggesting these are all the work of the...more
The finest of the early capitals are above the lower tall columns of the chevet. Half of them have figurative scenes from the New Testament with expressivity and motion. Some are inscribed with text to aid in their identification and miraculously one has named the Master responsible for the work ("Gofridus Mea Fecit"; a rare example of medieval...more
The church has a three part interior of a nave and side aisle that are the same height as the nave (a hall church). There are shallow transepts with windows and above the crossing is a two level tower. The first striking feature is that the church has been white-washed with all the grouting essentially carefully delineated in a rich brown color....more
We had a lovely lunch at this charming French restaurant.We went with the French tradition of the Menu Du Jour, which was as always a good choice. The French really love their food and take great pride in it, so you can't really go wrong with the Menu Du Jour as well as a 50cl ceuillette of red wine ... just the job.Lunch prices are also good with...more
A great lunch stop at this restaurant where we chose the lunch of the day. It was served as an 'assiette' with salad; main course (turkey in this case); dessert and cheese all served on a large plate. The dessert in it own glass dish.All this and coffee too for just a few Euros. Terrific food, great bargain and a super welcome from the waiter who...more
Restoration of antiquities (Art) was an unknown concept before the 19C. The modern concept of History as an investigative pursuit was rudimentary before that time. Prior to the 19C only crude repair or preservation was practiced and addition (“improvement”) was common. The antiques were incorporated into other works or simply displayed as found. Even in the 19C, analytic methods were rudimentary and sources were poorly explored. But at the height of the Romantic era there developed the aesthetic concept of “truthful (i.e. scientific) restoration”.This was espoused fervently by Viollet-le-Duc in France and tourists visit most of his efforts without being aware of what he did or why or how to bring ancient objects back to their “original state”.
Here in Chauvigny, in the mid-19C another attitude prevailed: to make the original “intention” clearer by creating a finished product without referring to the orifinal methods or limitations. This approach was used by the Pope during the Renaissance, when he had Michaelangelo “restore” the missing arm of the “Laocoon”. Examine the detailed incising of the console illustrated here with its(minimal) treatment and compare it with the capital of Mary joyfully exhibiting the gifts of the Magi, where the emphasis makes it a comic book rendition. There is no doubt that both would be better as natural unaltered stone.
Favorite thing: There are a few free parking areas in the main city area, but most are metered. However if you go up the hill to the historic city, there are three free tourist parking areas. From those, all sites are within walking distance.