Saturday, 18 July 2015

A revisit

For reasons too complicated to even try to explain (the main reason being curiosity) we decided to pay the Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption in Gourdon another visit.

Luxure (lust)
The first time we had heard about this church dates years back, when guests we had staying in one of our gîtes told us that they wanted to visit that church because it was quite extraordinary. We visited the church for the first time also in 2007.
The purpose of this particular visit was to have a good look at the capitals, of which there are approx. 90 present, where I had photographed only 17 on previous visits. On a nice sunny day we packed the car with our picnic gear and drove off to Gourdon.

Monstres anguipèdes (lower part of the body has the form of a snake)
My usual source gave me the following hint: "Gourdon has mainly groups of primitive capitals, with lots of similar lions, monsters, human heads and floral motives, with occasionally a human figure.".

That was correct, however, there is also a handful of capital depicting well-known themes, such as some of the capital sins and other vices, such as lust, temptation, greed, slander, promiscuity.

Monstres léonins à face humaine (lion-like creatures with human faces)
This information, and where to find those particular capitals I found in a brochure available in the church. Apart from those capitals this church also boasts a number of frescoes or what is left of them. The church itself is very light, which makes studying the various decorations relatively easy.
On the outside there is quite a bit of sculpture to be seen as well; there is big number of modillons adorning the roof edges; they show geometrical patterns, but also human and animal heads, floral motives, wood shavings motive, etc.

Even the corbels supporting the roof edge of the bell tower (1889!) are richly sculpted.
After having looked around for a good three quarters of an hour we installed our camping table and chairs in the shadow of the church and enjoyed our well-earned picnic. When I got home I still had quite a job sorting out and manipulating between 150 and 200 pictures. And only then I realised that in my eagerness to photograph everything in an organised way that I had missed out on two capitals, in a high window just above the entrance to the church!

Roof edge of the bell tower
Click here for the website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle.

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