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date: 19 October 2019

Berzé-la-Ville, priory chapellocked

  • Kathryn Morrison

Extract

Former Cluniac priory chapel in Burgundy, France. The two-storey chapel, constructed in the early 12th century, is situated south of its mother house, Cluny Abbey. In 1887 important wall paintings were uncovered in the upper chapel, which comprises a single-cell nave (l. 7.50 m) with a slightly pointed barrel vault, a short choir (l. 2.70 m), and a semicircular apse. The paintings in the nave, including an Entry into Jerusalem and decorative bands imitating transverse arches, are fragmentary, but those in the apse are well preserved. The semi-dome contains a Traditio legis. Christ in Majesty is depicted enthroned in a blue mandorla below the Hand of God and flanked on either side by six Apostles: he hands an unfurled scroll to St Peter on the right and blesses St Paul on the left). Also flanking the mandorla are SS Lawrence and Vincent and two bishop-saints. Below the semi-dome are five arches, the central three of which are lit. In the spandrels are busts of female saints that closely resemble the mosaics of S Vitale, Ravenna, and in the blind arches, to the left and right respectively, are the ...

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