2.4 THE__ 

 Durham Cathedral, England





Palatine Chapel 

 of Charlemagne, Aachen, Germany (792-895)



Germigny-des-Pres,  France (806-811) Sanctuary

Built by Bishop Theodulf of Orléans, (prominent intellectual  in the court of Charlemagne and abbot of the neighboring monastery of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire) in 806.

Byzantine Apse Mosaic, Germigny-des-Pres,  France (c.805)



St. John Benedictine Monastery,

Muestar, Switzerland (c.780; tower c.1000)








Rose Window The Shrine of St. Cuthbert



























© Antony  McCallum WyrdLight.com




























Cistercian Art & Architecture - Bernard




APOLOGY (to William, Against the Cluniacs)
posted with permission for reprint at: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/bernard1.html

I SHALL speak plainly: Isn't greed, a form of idolatry, responsible for all this? Aren't we seeking contributions rather than spiritual profit? "How?" you ask. "In a strange and wonderful way," I answer. Money is scattered about in such a way that it will multiply. It is spent so that it will increase. Pouring it out produces more of it. Faced with expensive but marvelous vanities, people are inspired to contribute rather than to pray. Thus riches attract riches and money produces more money. I don't know why, but the wealthier a place, the readier people are to contribute to it. Just feast their eyes on gold-covered relics and their purses will open. Just show them a beautiful picture of some saint. The brighter the colors, the saintlier he'll appear to them. Men rush to kiss and are invited to contribute. There is more admiration for beauty than veneration for sanctity. Thus churches are decorated, not simply with jeweled crowns, but with jeweled wheels illuminated as much by their precious stones as by their lamps. We see candelabra like big bronze trees, marvelously wrought, their gems glowing no less than their flames. What do you think is the purpose of such things? To gain the contrition of penitents or the admiration of spectators?

OH vanity of vanities, yet no more vain than insane! The church is resplendent in her walls and wanting in her poor. She dresses her stones in gold and lets her sons go naked. The eyes of the rich are fed at the expense of the indigent. The curious find something to amuse them and the needy find nothing to sustain them.

WHAT sort of reverence is shown to the saints when we place their pictures on the floor and then walk on them? Often someone spits in an angel's mouth. Often the face of a saint is trampled by some passerby's feet. If sacred images mean nothing to us, why don't we at least economize on the paint? Why embellish what we're about to befoul? Why decorate what we must walk upon? What good is it to have attractive pictures where they're usually stained with dirt?

[...] IN CLOISTERS, where the brothers are reading, what is the point of this ridiculous monstrosity, this shapely misshapenness, this misshapen shapeliness? What is the point of those unclean apes, fierce lions, monstrous centaurs, half-men, striped tigers, fighting soldiers and hunters blowing their horns? In one place you see many bodies under a single head, in another several heads on a single body. Here on a quadruped we see the tail of a serpent. Over there on a fish we see the head of a quadruped. There we find a beast that is horse up front and goat behind, here another that is horned animal in front and horse behind.

IN SHORT, so many and so marvelous are the various shapes surrounding us that it is more pleasant to read the margin than the books, and to spend the whole day marveling over these things rather than meditating on the law of God. Good Lord! If we aren't embarrassed by the silliness of it all, shouldn't we at least be disgusted by the expense?


STATUTES (guidelines) pertaining to Cistercian art and architecture (from the early general chapters of Citeaux--12th century)

Statute 10

What is permissible or non-permissible for us to have of gold, silver, jewels, and silk.  Altar cloths and the garments of those ministering are to be without silk except the stole and maniple. No chasuble is to be had, unless of one color.  All ornaments, vessels, and utensils of the monastery are to be without gold, silver, or jewels except the chalice and the fistula, which two alone we are allowed to have when of silver and gilded, but by no means when golden.17

Quid liceat vel non liceat nobis habere de auro, argento gemmis et serico.  Altarium linteamina, ministrorum indumenta, sine serico sint, praeter stolam et manipulum.  Casula vero nonnisi unicolor habetur.  Omnia monasterii ornamenta, vasa, utensilia, sine auro et argento et gemmis, praeter calicem et fistulam: quae quidem duo sola argentea et deaurata, sed aurea nequaquam habere permittimur.18

Statute 20

Concerning sculptures, paintings, and the wooden cross:  We forbid sculptures or paintings in either our churches and in any rooms of the monastery, because when attention is turned to such things the advantage of good meditation or the discipline of religious gravity is often neglected.  However, we do have painted crosses, which are of wood.19

De Sculpturis et picturis, et cruce lignea.  Sculpturae vel picturae in ecclesiis nostris seu in officinis aliquibus monasterii ne fiant interdicimus, quia dum talibus intenditur, utilitas bonae meditationis vel disciplina religiosae gravitatis saepe negligitur.  Cruces tamen pictas quae sunt ligneae habemus.20

Statute 80

Concerning letters and windows:   Letters are to be made of one color, and not depictive.  Windows are to be made white, and without crosses and pictures.21
De litteris et vitreis.  Litterae unius coloris fiant, et non dipictae.  Vitreae albae fiant, et sine crucibus et picturis.22







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