Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I've Always Liked This Picture

Medieval Cathedrals used to be polychrome painted. The imposing gray structures we now imagine were once a rainbow of colors. At Amiens Cathedral in France, a summer light show using lasers shows what the facade was like when colored. Some people think the stony colorlessness lends some sort of gravitas, but I myself prefer the medieval jubilation:

4 comments:

Mark of the Vineyard said...

I like being reminded of this because I sometimes look at pictures of Byzantine churches and sigh a little.

bill said...

Yes. Give me the jubilation. I used to always ask myself why the Hindus, Buddhists and others had elaborate color and us Christians just got stone. Now I know why. It's the same with the old Greek temples as well. Maybe we will rediscover this and revisit this method in future attempts to echo more traditional styles.

Who Am I said...

While I like Churches to be colourful, I however doubt that the average Catholic Traditionalist would be open to the idea. As 'A Sinner' cited, most consider grey stone as lending to a sense of gravitas. Reinfusing Church architecture with that tradition would distort their sense of tradition. Post modern adaptations of tradition for the FAIL !

Saeculum Obscurum said...

A great picture! I always cringe when watching films set in the Middle Ages where, despite the producers' claims to accuracy, the walls of the castles and churches are all bare, grey stone. Of course it would have all been vibrant with colour. Bring it back, I say.