Peter Dinzelbacher wrote:
>...does anyone know a study on ecclesiastical sculptures which were not >used
any longer and therefor were put into graves near the church....
Quite an interesting question.
Would love to have some information myself from this learned list.
Off the top of my head I can think of two examples of medieval buried
1) quite a few large fragments from the monumental and quite magnificent 13th
c. _jube'_ of the Cathedral of Chartres were found, I understand, burried (in
the church??/crypte??) and are now on display in the chapel of St. Piat off
the East end of the choir.
Ashamed to say that I have not read it, but there should be some discussion of
their discovery--if not funeral--in the only book
published on them, to which I do not have access at present, so I cannot
supply an accurate reference (Jean Maillon[?], _Le Jube' de la C. de Ch._, c.
1965 [?]. sorry, I've just arrived in sunny California and have yet to find
access to a library).
I believe that the old jube' was torn down to make room for the new,
construction of which was begun c. 1500(?). If so, this would be a
*very* late example of a practice which might well have been quite common
throughout the MA, indeed going back to Antiquity: a great cache of
Archaic sacred sculpture was found--early in this century, I believe--on the
However, in that instance it was a question of burying the sculpures to keep
them from falling into the hands of the invading Persians (I think).
Not so with the Chartres jube', but perhaps quite similar to the circumstances
of the second medieval example I happen to have come
2) several (5?) rather spectacular large "romanesque" capitals from (an
unfinished [?] portal [?] of) the church of St. Mary at Nazareth were found
buried together in the transept(?) of the church at the end of
the 19th c.
As can be seen by the number of (?)'s here, I'm quite an expert on this place,
The theory was advanced that these sculptures were buried--all together--
to keep them from falling into the hands of the Saracens under Saladin, who
re-took the place in 1187.
More recently (1995) Jaroslav Folda has dealt with Nazareth in his _The
Art of the Crusaders in the Holy Land, 1098-1187_ (Cambridge U.P., chapter
8[?])(and in an earlier book devoted exclusively to the Nazareth caps), which
I also have not read nor have at hand. (All the more embarassing,
as I know J.F. to be an excellent scholar, BTW.)
I *believe* that he has questioned the earlier theories on
reconstructing the sculptures in a portal context and, perhaps, on the reasons
for their burial.
In any event, there would seem to be a difference between hiding valuable
sculptures (and other treasures) from incomming vandals/philistines and the
idea of giving sacred objects a decent burial.
Should be noted that re-cycling old stone--carved or not--as rubble fill in
new construction was perhaps the more common method of disposal.
I hope to hear more from someone on this list who might actually know
something about this matter.
Best to all from here,
More than just email--Get your FREE Netscape WebMail account today at http://home.netscape.com/netcenter/mail