medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

From: Marjorie Greene <[log in to unmask]>

> St-Lazare d'Autun is another mal-oriented church. Linda Seidel discusses
this in her Legends in Limestone 

Seidel, Linda. 
Legends in Limestone: Lazarus, Gislebertus, and the Cathedral of Autun. 
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999. 

a quite good book, in so far as it preforms a much-need DeMythologization of
this "Gislebertus" fellow --who, simply because he signed his name in a very
prominent place (which identification as the sculptor of the tympanum Seidel
*rejects*, btw) has become a Magnet for hapless art hysterians, who have
"seen" him at work behind every bush, from Cluny, to the Rhone Valley, to
Chartres West.

not a bad "reputation" for a rather mediocre sculptor --albeit one with a
remarkably finely honed sense of narrative and, above all, anecdote.

in many other ways, the book is something of a disaster, actually lapsing into
the near-comic --and actually quite embarrassing-- ignorant [mis-]application
of the written source material, and is to be read with great Caution.

>but if she gave a reason for this, it escapes my memory. I believe the
"western" facade is actually the northern. but don't quote me.

i don't think that she does, either (and you can quote me).

there may not be a "reason" --or at least not one which we can discern at this
distance in time.

St. Lazare was originally a collegiate church dependent upon the [then]
cathedral and built off the west front of the latter, such that its east
transept faced the cathedral's west, only a short distance away.

there may be a "reason" for this curious anomaly to be found in this
interesting study, which seems to center on the churches of the cathedral

Sylvie Balcon,  Walter Berry and Christian Sapin. “Architecture and
Sculpture at Autun around the Millennium,” in Nigel Hiscock, ed., The White
Mantle of Churches: Architecture, Liturgy, and Art around the Millennium
(International medieval research. Art history, v. 10; Art history subseries,
2) (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2003), pp. 196-220. [NA5453 .W53 2003]

which i just scanned as a .pdf file yesterday (and can send to anyone who
wishes a copy), but have not read yet.

not much written about pre-12th c. Autun.

it seems that the tradition of "Romanesque" sculpture at Autun can be traced
quite a ways back from Gislebertus' epoch.


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