"See the Donjon Room (The "Round Room")(3)" Chateau Comtal Museum Tip by hquittner

Chateau Comtal Museum, Carcassonne: 7 reviews and 28 photos

  The Villaniere Calvary
by hquittner
  • The Villaniere Calvary - Carcassonne
      The Villaniere Calvary
    by hquittner
  • Annunciation (the back side) - Carcassonne
      Annunciation (the back side)
    by hquittner
  • Crucifixion and 8 Apostles (Top) - Carcassonne
      Crucifixion and 8 Apostles (Top)
    by hquittner
  • Calvary Next to Fresco - Carcassonne
      Calvary Next to Fresco
    by hquittner
  • Battle Fresco (12C) - Carcassonne
      Battle Fresco (12C)
    by hquittner

Man comprehends best what he can see. In politics and religion this has led to the use of monuments and statues to influence thought, mostly man made, although Nature provides some of these sites. These locations are reinforced by ceremonies and processions. Around 1550 a short-lived appearance of a particular religious monument occurred in Bretagne with echoes and a few antecedents elsewhere in France and Italy: the Calvary. They were erected usually in church closes and were associated with an annual processions (?Pardons?) through the countryside. (See our Tips at various sites such as Bretagne>Guimiliau). It was surprising to see the pieces of a Calvary here in the museum salvaged from a demolished abbey 20 km north in the town of Villaniere. It is believed to be from the 16C and called ?Ecce Homo? with one of the figures at the base a ?suffering? Christ, an artistic concept first appearing in the Renaissance. This may be the only time you ever see a Calvary, so stop and appreciate the number of figures carved in the round, both the large ones on the base depicting Jesus and the Annunciation characters. Note the small Apostles on the arms of the Crucifixion Cross and the mass of onlookers. It is likely that there were numerous anonymous sculptors by this time in Southern France, as witnessed by the profusion of tympani, carved tombs and traceried windows. At the Chartreuse of Champmol in the suburbs of Dijon, there is the ?Well of Moses? finished in 1400 which was probably the first Calvary (by Claus Sluter, the greatest European sculptor before Donatello), (again see our Dijon Tips). He had a large group who helped and succeeded him . The Beaux Arts Museum in Dijon has several of his and their 15-16C works plus a polychrome model of Sluter?s ?Moses? Calvary. On another wall in this room a very early fresco of the 12C has been uncovered. It depicts a battle scene . The warriors wear a battle helmet whose style was abandoned before 1200.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 10, 2009
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