Links to all French Cathedral and Abbey Photo Pages in Paradoxplace

Links to all Abbey and Cathedral Pages in Paradoxplace

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Cathédrale St-Lazare, Autun (Burgundy)

Medieval Narrative Capitals (1100s) in the Nave


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Cathédrale St-Lazare, Autun - Main Page



Romanesque West Portal Tympanum, Lintel and Capitals



Medieval Narrative Capitals in the Nave (this page)



Labours of the Month and Signs of the Zodiac - January to May



Medieval Narrative Capitals in the Chapter House



Labours of the Month and Signs of the Zodiac - June to December



Musée Rolin and Gislebertus' Eve




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Links to Basilique Ste-Madeleine (Vézelay) and Basilique St-Andoche (Saulieu)









Victualling the Ark (link to Noah at Vézelay)





Samson rides his Magnificent Lion





Samson Overthrows the Temple, followed by a lad who has forgotten his pants.





Bell ringers play "the fourth tone" - a mode of the Gregorian Chant expressing pain and sorrow (though not always) - on a tintinnabulum.


Pope St Gregory I (the Great) (540 - 590 - 604 (64)) introduced a "Gregorian" chanting system to try and bring some seriousness and order to the huge miscellany of folk tunes being enjoyed in churches across Europe.  A church should not be about people enjoying themselves should it?  Gregorian chants had eight modes - the first and second modes began with the characteristic note "re", modes 3 and 4 began with "mi", modes 5 and 6 with "fa", and modes 7 and 8 with "sol".  In Gregory's day there were only limited ways of "writing music" and there was no way of defining a particular note so that it could be replicated.  A full system of musical notation was another 400 years away - it was invented by the Tuscan Guido d'Arezzo around 990.  These capitals would have postdated this, but by this stage the procedures of Gregorian chanting were well entrenched.  Two of the capitals rescued from Cluny have representations of each mode on their eight faces.





The prophet Habakkuk, under duress from an angel, brings a dinner of bread and boiled pottage to Daniel, sitting in the Lions' Den.

Link to the same subject at Moissac.





The dramatic fall of Simon "the (ex-) magician" Magus





Just inside the main west door, an unhappy man, literally hooked by the devil,  holds his head in his hands.  On the other side of the door is a capital showing a humanoid devil "coupled through" by a serpent , whose head sticks out of the devil's mouth and tail emerges through the other end (photo on our next visit!).





Looks like an Annunciation with momentum, but in fact it is an angel liberating a chained Saint Peter from prison.






Christ washing the feet of the apostles





The Dom's favourite Magi representation (indeed favourite Romanesque capital) - a boyish Archangel Gabriel nudges the sleeping Magi awake and points towards the guiding star (and gives them a warning not to return to Herod and divulge the location of the baby Jesus - two Magi stories in one).  This is one of the capitals that was moved to the Chapter House.



Link to Photos of the Chapter House Capitals



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