Monday, September 26, 2011

Chartres and Pocket Pacy #5

From Tours, we were on out way to Giverny (Monet's gardens!) but as I looked on the map, I saw that the town on Chartres was on the way. sounded so familiar. Like it was important...yes, there is a very famous and important church there! We learned about it in art history class! Thank you, expensive art school education.

So the Sasquatch and I took a little detour to see this very famous and important church (yes, he's a French-Canadian Sasquatch who rented a car and drove me all around France!). This is what it looked like:

it was in much better condition than Notre Dame
There were hundreds and hundreds of carvings all over the church. That is one of the reasons it was in my art history book:

And there was amazing stained glass:
the stained glass was also intricate! I liked how they told biblical in the panels.

And there was a maze! It was loosely based on the famous labyrinth that is inside the church (that we didn't get to see).

What was interesting about Chartres to me, compared to Notre Dame, was that it seemed to be a much more narrative church. From the hundreds of sculptures to the stained glass, it seemed like everything was telling a bible story--which makes sense. I'm guessing most commoners did not know how to read and, if I remember correctly, sermons were in Latin.  It would be through these visual illustrations that stories would be shared. 

But when it came down to sketch, I found the church and all its details overwhelming and I ended up drawing what I saw coming down the church steps:

and enjoyed the serenade of street beggar. His song gave me a strange sense of timelessness. I imagine a similar song must have been sung in front of this church for centuries and would probably continue until the end of time.

And I thought, perhaps, a Pocket Pacy might be a good witness for some of that.