Tag Archives: cathedral

To hell with a hand bag

Chartres has been on my mind a lot this week. In July of 1992, a few days after my eighteenth birthday I spent about three hours at Chartres as part of a whirlwind ten day tour of France. I remember very few visual details from those hours though I tried to see a much as I could in the meager time allotted to us. I suppose at the time I assumed that I would have the opportunity to see it again one day soon. After all, it was my second trip to Europe in as many years. It is curious how my European travels came to complete cessation after my parents were no longer picking up the tab.

I didn’t take any photos while there, instead trying to focus on more direct experience. But I did purchase the little print below. When I got back home that summer I had it matted and it has traveled with me to many dorm rooms, apartments and houses and it remains a source of reflection and inspiration. It is a fairly unremarkable image but it does give me hope that I will again one day gaze up in wonder at that amazing place.

A print which hangs in my workspace. “A demon leading a miser to Hell.” Chartres Cathedral, South Portal.

Thank you Dr. Stuart Whatling

…for making your doctoral thesis and research, The Corpus of Medieval Narrative Art, available on the internet. It is a treasure trove of imagery and scholarship.

As of today he has posted over 2,700 pages of images from Amiens, Chartres, Bourges, and others. What a resource!

Chartres Cathedral, The “Seraph” Clerestory Window, (bay 103, panel 04).
© Stuart Whatling, 2008

You say retablo I say reredos

Reredos with St Francis encircled by New World saints, Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Reredos with St. Francis encircled by New World saints, Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

This can be said to be a reredos in English or perhaps a retablo in Spanish. This photo is from my Great American West vacation of 2009.