medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Rob Howe <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>it was common enough in the monastic churches in Romania (particularly the
externally-frescoed ones in Southern Bucovina in the NE) which often feature
the doom on their EXTERIOR wall at the west end. The fresco of the doom is
often placed above the main door to the church, where this is at the west end
(eg. Humor, Patrauti). 

well, that would be analogous to the sculptural programs of churches in the

and to the lost fresco decoration of some Western churches, as well.

>If the main door is elsewhere (eg. at Rasca it is on the south facade) then
the doom may be found there, or on the door-less west wall, as at Voronet. The
quality of Voronet is particularly noteworthy:

nice example.

i don't see any reason why we should dismiss the possibility that some Western
churches --especially before the 13th century (just to pick an arbitrary
date)-- were not painted on the outside like this one is.

just because not a single example has survived (to my uncertain knowledge).

i'm thinking particularly of churches in regions where good building stone is
hard to find, as in many areas of the Chartrain Beauce and the Perche.

many churches there are built of baseball-sized stones of chert or flint, set
in a kind of cement/mortar ; being hard to come by, dressed ashlar stone is
reserved for, perhaps, portals, window jambs and tops, and interior
architectural elements like bases, capitals, imposts....

the exterior (and interior) walls were stuccoed and/or plastered.

it is certain that the interior walls were frescoed, and i see no reason to
think that the exterior ones were not, as well.

the best example i can think of is the late 11th/early 12th c. church of
Dangeau, Southwest of Chartres (between BROU and Bonneval)

the church of Dangeau is a precious and rather rare surviving example of
"romanesque" in the region, and has a modest portal with sculpted archivolts
--my memory is dim, but there may be scenes of the Last Judgement on those.

in any event, just imagining these churches lavishly painted on the exterior
is an interesting Mind Game.

best from here,



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