5.2.18

Clean...


I wrote about the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church almost ten years ago (see here) and I will not repeat the story about the church and the abbey, but… a few words: The present church, which was part of the great abbey is basically from the 11th and the 12th centuries, but a number of modifications have of course taken place during the following centuries and the building suffered seriously from the Revolution. During the 19th century, Victor Baltard (1805-74) – today especially remembered for the disappeared “Les Halles” (previous posts here) - was in charge of a restoration and he engaged Hippolyte Flandrin (1809-64), assisted by Alexandre Denuelle (1818-79) for the decoration of the walls – most of the walls were thus covered by paintings, but, lately, you could hardly see this paint work anymore under the dirt.  

Cleaning and restoration of the walls and ceilings of about half of the church have just been finished, partly thanks to sponsoring by some of today's artists. We will obviously have to wait for at least another three years, before the whole church will be neat. On some of the pictures below you can clearly see the difference between the renovated and the not cleaned and restored parts.




Also renovated, you can find the impressive tomb of John II Casimir Vasa (1609-72), a man with a surprising career. King of Poland 1648-68, he abdicated and became abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés during his last four years. (One could perhaps mention that his father was King Sigismund III, grandson of Gustav I of Sweden.) Only John Casimir’s heart remains here; he’s buried in Krakow, then the capital of Poland.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it in that church that some members of the Scottish Douglas family are buried? And some of them with their effigies in marble? Was not the Saint Germain neighborhood populated by refugees from Scotland in its early beginings?

I read that right after the French Revolution, their Collège des Écossais became the most exclusive teaching place for young boys in all of Paris. Among its students were Théodore de Fontenay, Eugene de Beauharnais and Jérôme Bonaparte...

The church...as stunning as your photography, Peter!
Thank you so much,
Maria

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Absolutely wonderful. Thank you very much. Your ability to explain in meticulous detail along with some fascinated pictures is truly remarkable.

Virginia said...

I have been photographing the restorations and am happy that they are completed. Such a beautiful church. I love the painted plaster columns and have focused on them the last few trips. Thanks for this great post Peter.

lyliane said...

l'opération de la cataracte pour les peintures !!