Toute la lumière sur l’église romane de Saint-Nectaire _ Daniel TARDY

Toute la lumière sur l’église romane de Saint-Nectaire _ Daniel TARDY


The church of Saint-Nectaire is an enigma: Why such a beautiful church in such a small village that has no other traces of a medieval past When was it built? And by whom? We know almost nothing of its history! What is certain is that this church has 103 historic capitals of pillars,of which 25 in particular choir capitals which form one of the finest historic ensembles of Romanesque Auvergne. Curiously, fewef than a dozen of these 83 characters are clearly identified. Don’t the others have names? Are we sure that the names of these capitals, mostly made in the 19th century, reflect the sculptors intension ? This window facing east plays a particularly important role in the lighting of this church. Observing the sunlight over 80 days I realized that the light illuminated the characters according to the calendar of the 11th century. This calendar was non-aligned by 6 days compared to our current calendar. For example on 3 May, at sunset the light from the single window on the west façade is precisely illuminating the Holy Cross celebrated on that day. Eight days earlier with remarkable accuracy the light illuminates the neighboring capital that could represent St.Marc in the left corner of the capital: The figure is winged (This is an evangelist) and he holds a book, the gospel? St. Mark (April 25) is the ultimate date for Easter. That day several marquees light up in the morning: The window northeast successively illuminates the Last Supper and the capital said to be the arrest. then the light from the window upper East a capital South aisle located 14 meters from this window The lit up character is very similar to the previous character that could represent St. Mark. Easter is a movable feast between March 22 and April 25. The equinox marks the beginning the third season of the liturgical year. The first capital that lights up in the morning is the “descent into hell” an event associated with Easter Friday. At the equinox, light from the upper East window illuminates perfectly the choir capital representing birds: on the left an eagle, and in the center a dove symbol of the Holy Spirit. By late morning, the south window illuminates another choir capital revealing unexpected details like the face that appears in the arms of the angel at the right angle. Could it not make sense by the presence of churches with the life of St. Benedict, the patron saint of architects and masons, who was celebrated precisely at the equinox? In the evening, the sun disappears before being in line with the church and does not illuminate any choir capital. During the 15 days around the summer solstice, light is almost identical. Could not the capital, illuminated by the first rays of the sun recall the beheading of two great saints: Saint John the Baptist (celebrated on 24 June) or that of St. Paul (celebrated on 29 June)? Could not this light make one think about the flames that descended on the disciples at Pentecost occurring on June 13 if Easter falls on April 25. 70 days before St. Mark’s the light from the stained glass East illuminates a capital to the North aisle representing Moses. This capital is symmetrical to the one that lights up Saint Mark. The same day, the south window lights the capital that depicts an eagle and a dove. In the morning this light moves to the capital said to be the appearance of Thomas and managed to inform the neighboring face in raking light. March 25 was celebrated the Annunciation and the holy Doctors of the Church: St. Basil, St. Gregory Nysance and St. John Chrysostom traditionally called “soldiers of Christ.” Why does this hand have six fingers? Annunciation is situated nine months to the day before Christmas and remembers that the Holy Spirit conceived
Jesus. That day stained glass East manages to illuminate the same side as we have seen lit by the south window for Septuagesima. Then, around 3pm, the eagle that lights the morning, lights again: Would it be a reminder that, on the cross, Jesus entrusted his mother to John, whose symbol is the eagle? For Holy Week when Easter falls to its deadline of April 25; the sun sets over several capitals that this capital could represent the sleeping disciples the evening of Holy Thursday Pierre, Jacques and Jean, the same who had also slept on Transfiguration’s day. Whatever the meaning of these capitals, can we say that the roman builders perfectly mastered astronomy and the three-dimensional geometry and very clever builders as far the capitals, including ambulatory, are illuminated by the sun? After more than 80 days of observation, I can show more than 100 coincidences proving that this church is a solar calendar. It’s a fact: 87% of marquees light up one day or another year making sense with the liturgical calendar in force at the time. The complex shape of the surrounding hills could explain 13% capitals never light the choir capital depicting the life of St. Nectaire (but is it really his life which is represented)? while this capital is placed facing the east window it is never lit at sunrise because of the hill in this axis. The question that arises is: How
could sculptors design such a set of capitals, taking their high relief when the sun illuminates them? with all this hills around ? After 14 years of research, all of these observations all these questions and several hypotheses that could explain how such a masterpiece has been built here in Saint-Nectaire are developed in the book that I wrote “All the light on the Romanesque architecture of Saint-Nectaire’s church ”

16 Replies to “Toute la lumière sur l’église romane de Saint-Nectaire _ Daniel TARDY”

  1. Je suis époustouflée par ce document aussi bien par le fond sonore, que par le visuel qui laisse imaginer les heures passées par l'auteur à guetter les rayons du soleil ! Document clair qui incite a découvrir le livre au plus vite…
    Nat Ali

  2. Je conseille vraiment cet ouvrage en tous points remarquable, tant par la richesse et l’intelligence de l’observation des phénomènes que par la beauté des photos et la qualité de l’édition. Point n’est besoin d’être un amoureux de l’art roman pour jouir de ce grand œuvre !

  3. Gilles Freidel. Architecte DPLG.  Peu d'ouvrages ont autant travaillé la relation entre la lumière et l'architecture. Cette étude permet aussi de restituer toute la richesse de la polychromie de l'architecture romane, méconnue pour nos contemporains. Bravo pour ce travail rigoureux de grande qualité. 

  4. Un travail passionnant manifestement fait par un passionné rigoureux et d'une culture religieuse impressionnante. Le livre nous offre des photos magnifiques des chapiteaux. Il ouvre grand le champ des hypothèses quant à la construction de cette église et pourquoi pas ? à une nouvelle façon de voir nos églises.

  5. Remarquable travail de patience et d'observation, cet ouvrage est également très documenté, très étayé. Il démontre qu'il n'y a pas qu'une manière de voir les choses …

  6. Ce livre est une pure découverte et je recommande à tout le monde de le lire et de le regarder (belles photos, contenu très riche …) A ne pas louper.

  7. Quel ouvrage magnifique!  une présentation remarquable et des images d'une grande qualité. C'est un travail monumental et d'une grande rigueur. Les hypothèses avancées ici par l'auteur ne sauraient laisser personne indifférent. Un livre à recommander fortement aux éternels chercheurs et curieux de vérité.

  8. Franchement, Bravo ! Splendide travail ! C'est absolument génial ! Je vais me procurer votre ouvrage.

  9. C'est ce que les païens avait déjà fait , les fêtes Catholique on repris des fêtes solsticiale et équinoxe , les cites mégalithique sont conçus pour cela .

  10. Bravo pour ce remarquable exposé! Les éclairages multicolores projetés sur les chapîteaux par les vitraux sont merveilleux! Mais il faut faire attention, ds une perspective historique, à ne pas projeter sur une époque où ils étaient tout autres, nos sentiments, sensations et états d'âme modernes, au risque de faire de graves contresens!

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