B&W Sunday: Traces of the Past

Saints in Stained Glass

Triforium stained glass windows, St. Severin, Paris, France

Join Paula’s Black & White Sunday: Traces of the Past Y4-02 

French Saints and Heroes – The Pantheon, Paris

As many times as I’ve been to Paris, this was my first visit to the Pantheon. I was in awe at its beauty. Modeled on the Pantheon in Rome, the neo-classical building began its life as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. The architect Soufflot began the Pantheon in 1755, with the ambition of competing with St. Peter’s in Rome. Construction was completed in 1790.

In 1791, it was became the National Pantheon, a place to honor for those who fought for equality and tolerance. Later, Napoleon I agreed to return the upper structure to a church as long as the lower crypt retained its national function. Its full national civic purpose was restored with Victor Hugo’s funeral in 1885.

The Nave and Transept

The walls of the nave and the transept arms are decorated with monumental painting cyles. The life of St. Genevieve is shown on the nave walls.

The transept paintings depict famous French historical/political figures such as Joan of Arc.

The Transept Dome

At the corners of the dome, frescoes by Baron Gros depict the Apotheosis of St. Geneviere. They are the oldest paintings in the Pantheon.

The Crypt

Burial honors have been granted to soldiers, resistance fighters, liberators, writers, scientists, politicians and others who exemply the republican values of justice and tolerance. Today, those interred in the Pantheon are subject to the whim of the French president.

The Pendulum

Cathedral of Saint-Sauveur, Aix-en-Provence

The origins of Saint-Sauveur date to the 5th century. It has been enlarged, modified, and renovated through the Romanesque, Gothic, Neo-gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. This melding of periods is evident on the facade, though not well captured in this image.

The Nave and the Apse

The Baptistry

The base of the walls date to the 6th century. The columns are said to be from a Roman temple. The dome is a Renaissance addition. The paintings in the niches depict the seven sacrements. Clergy are buried beneath the floor.

Chapel of the Sacred Heart

Triptych of the Burning Bush, by Nicolas Fromant, 15th Century

Unfortunately, the altarpiece is rarely opened. The outside is still lovely and worth seeing.

The Cloister

The Cloister is open only with a guided tour. The schedule is posted on the door.

Of Note

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