Tuesday, 8 July 2008


im done.
finished it.
printed it out.
handed it in.

well, the finishing part was a bit weird as i spent the last week of it cruising though Poland.

printing it yout was a nightmare as the copyshop computers wouldnt read my illustrations. So I had to print them out on my home computer. 7 hours straight - 150 pages. phew.

handing in went smoother thanks to everyone being really nice.

a few hours later I got shot by one of the professors who agreed to read and mark my work - only through the telephone, but still - because of how much Ive written.. hmm.

what I didnt mentiopn was the amazing second trip to Paris.. Staying in our own apartment, searching through libraries for archive material on the restaurations of Saint-Martin, taking more DIGITAL pictures of the choir itself, managing to get into Saint-Pierre-de-Montmartre, AND SAINT-QUIRIACE in Provins on the way there as well as SAINT-GERMER-DE-FLY on the way back, which I both heartily recommend... maybe Ill have time to post some pictures ,although I only have picture sof the architecture of the churches, whereas what makes these two little villages so lovely is their lonely atmosphere from many ages ago....

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

is life without spacebars possible?

its been a pretty busy month I have to say. after theeaster break was over, I started working quite a lot on my texts. especially those parts that actually are connected to art history. but now Im back to editing and correcting mostly historical bits an bops. Sometimes I feel like a private detective investigating in the case of Saint Martin. When I actually ought to be doing much more creative things like comparing one capital with another one or one bit of stone with another.. hmmm.

also, Ive found quite a lot of old plans and depictions of Saint-Martin that Ive been trying to analyse in the past week. Its quite interesting how unprecise even the ground plans from the 19th century are. Especially Viollet-le-Duc is making a complete fool of himself.
it is pretty amazing, at least I think so, that Ive got two depictions of the church of Saint Martin from shortly after the Roman building was constructed (Chronique versifiée dated roun 1070s -1090s) and a nother two from the 13th century copy of that chronicle. My favourite one is by Fouquet though, although the reproductions Ive got of that illumination are pretty horribly blurred. Even Merian etched it, I think the younger one. When Ive handed this in I might load up lots of pictures, unless I get washed away of further obligations that Ive puttign aside allthat time now.

another thing are financial factors. Ill have to spent some 40 euro on printing and binding three sets of about 150 pages each, including illustrations. AND if I want colour pictures as well that would make some 33 euro more if I include 17 colour prints in each of those sets. or 23 euro for 10 colour prints in each.

I even have a file called my Masterproject and its the actual text Im gonna hand in... at some point. Though im altering it all the time. Its not finished yet. The main bits and the intro and conclu are pretty rough still or even non-existent. no conclusions yet. hehe. l'art pour l'art.

ok, thats all for now, folks. unless one of you can tell me how to put my spacebar back into place properly. i foolishly removed it earlier to get rid of all the fluffy dust underneath it, but it doesnt fit back on now. help.

Monday, 18 February 2008

its been a looong time, noooow Im coming back home...

I have not been lazy! dont worry. but im still far away from my goal. I havent been able to do as much writing as I would like to, but its not like I haven tdone anything at all over the last month. As a special treat, and Ive just realized, that I didnt even mention that in the last post, I got a reaaaally loooong and contenting as contentful essay by Arnaud Prié about you-know-what from ma petite amie from Wonderland with lots of new ideas about the southern parts of the choir, that is the belltower and the former little apsis there. Archeological, but highly interesting. Also, Ive come up with a concept for the illustrations, found three different plans of the church, and so on. Ive started the literary bit by summing up all texts on Saint Martin, thus reducing two huge files into 18 pages. Its still loads of work. For a brief moment I was back into the whole thing, but I keep loosing track of "who said what now".. At the moment im still writing about the date and the reasons for the new building campaign. Its quite detailed, so I might just put something shorter there and use these bits for the main discussion. Ive even written another introduction! Also, Ive looke into capitals - forms, types, styles.. hard core stuff! :)

Saturday, 12 January 2008

happy new year

2008 is a year full of final exams, final results and final decisions. Hopefully the first step will be taken soon - that is handing in THAT thing.. Apart from eating cookies, stollen, ducks, raclette, turkeys, lobster, fish, schnitzel and bagels over the last couple of weeks, I also have written out the building history (admittedly only during last week though). There ARE footnotes! Even more than proper text. But they are still pretty obscure and will need neating out. hmm, that seems to be a general problem here.

Today Ive spent a remarkable amount of time cruising through the "Fotoindex Marburg" to get some more illustrations on other churches. They actually are quite a lot of pictures of Saint Martin as well. Mostly from the 1940s, which is not ideal for my purposes, but still historically interesting. The church seems to have been in quite an acceptable state back then. I remember seeing other "old" pictures of it with nailed up shattered windows, the walls falling apart and the ground around it receeding. That might have been just before the restaurations of the 1910s then, maybe. Although I had kind of remembered that picture being from the 20s or 30s. Hmm. Ill find out at some point. Im still at odds with a couple of things, but it helps to see all those other, more or less contemporary churches; for one starts to realize the actual character of Saint Martin as opposed to all the other pompous cathedrals, provincial churches and the slightly more sophisticated as probably later attempts.

Im looking forward to the next part now, the summary of all the books and essays written on Saint Martin. Its gonna be hard work, but at least I will get back into the texts, some of which I read only briefly ages ago, so that I will hopefully get a better overview about the more general opinions as well as the rather detailed analyses.

It kind of feels like I still havent started writing yet, but looking at the above and below it just needs a bit of editing and I have nearly 20 written pages already! In the meantime Ive also decided to use digital illustrations and to print them out in colour. Its more fuss on the one hand, but also less on the other - but its definitely going to be neater. hehe. word of the blog. Oh, AND there will have to be a picture on the front page. Probably simplement le chevet...

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

a neat description is something else

yay, Ive just finished the first draft for my description of the whole St.Martin-des-Champs business. It was well hard and still needs alot of time to be spent on. Unfortunately the whole building is extremely irregular in its detailed forms and also geometrically not very straight. Basicly, I had to describe every little base and vault and arch and bay and .. well, I didnt really, but maybe I should have. Ive done a middle thing, I think, But its not very accurate yet. Just soemthign to work on. Still its a big first step towards a written scientific text that will need to be handed in at some point in the not too distant future.

The advantages of that detailed decription are manifold: firstly, I had to look at the whole thing for a long time, in order to recognize patterns or systems, had to check every detail in every bay, on every pillar, to make sure if it was the same, to find out which columns is carrying which rib and so on. In a way, its the first time Ive conciously looked at the building really thoroughly. Secondly, based on this detailed inspection I can now start to analyze the differences and regularities, maybe distinguish some links within the building in order to get a sequence of building, or also links to other buildings that have similar forms at a similar point of time in the 12th century. And then you always should not only provide the reader with good illustrations of the work of art youre talking about, but at the same time give a neat description of the whole thing, in order to point out the standard elements as well as the specialities.

Admitteldly, my description is not that neat yet, but I will work on it very soon.

PS: And Ive just received news that a 15 pages text about the 1916 works is waiting for me at the library!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

library notes to self:

Anfray, Marcel: L'Architecture Normande. Son influence dans le Nord de la France aux XI et XII siècles. Paris, 1939.

p.322: Le profil à trois tores d'ogives des abbatiales de Lessay et de Caen se retrouve au choeur de Bellefontaine, construit sans doute entre 1135 et 1140, tandis que celui formé de deux tores separées par une arete de la salle capitulaire de Jumièges et de Saint-Paul à Rouen, e été adopté pour les voutes du croisillon nord de Cambronne, du choeur de Poissy et de Saint-Martin-des-Champs à Paris. Cette dernière voute est divisée par huit branches d'ogives, rayonnant autour d'une clef centrale en huit compartiments de remplissage, suivant un procédé de l'école normande dont l'influence se fait encore sentir dans la décoration d'une arcade de l'abside et du doubleau garni de batons brisés, qui encadre le choeur. Les nervures de la voute à six branches de la chapelle d'axe sont ornées de trois tores accouplés, et celles de la travée centrale d'un gros boudin entre deux baguettes. Quant aux voutes de l'eglise de Poissy, qu'Anthyme Saint-Paul disait proches parentes des voutes des églises de Caen, de Lessay, de Creully, elles ont perdu beaucoup de leur intéret, par suite des restaurations importantes qu'elles ont subies. A Saint-Martin-des-Champs et à Poissy, la croisée d'ogives coexiste avec la voute d'aretes, comme à Lessay, à Saint Paul de Rouen, à Saint Taurin d'Evreux, et à Notre-Dame d'Airanes qui appartenait à un prieuré del'ordre de Cluny `dépendant de Saint-Martin-des-Champs.

p. 330f: Dans quelques-unes des premières églises francaises ou picardes, coubvertes de voutes présentant des analogies plus ou moins grandes avec les premières croisées d'ogives anglo-normandes, on trouve, pour contrebuter la poussée, un système rappelant celui employé par les constructueurs normands à Durham, à la Trinité de Caen, etc... Une première application de ce principe fut faite par l'architecte de Saint-Martin-des-Cahmps à Paris, qui monta un mur-boutant sur les doubleaux du déambulatoire, et une autre, un demi-siècle plus tard par celui de Nesles-la-Vallée (Seine-et-Oise), qui éleva, sur chacun des doubleaux des cas-cotés, un demi-pignon de maconnerie dissimulé par la toiture en appentis.

p. 376: L'usage des batons brisés pour la décoraton des arcs s'est conservé meme après que les architectes de l'Ile-de-France eurent construit les premières voutes d'ogives sur le vaisseuau de leurs églises, et ils s'en servirent, nous l'avons vu, pour or´ner les doubleaux de voutes de Saint-MArtin-des-Champs, Béthizy-Saint-Pierre, Bury, Foulanges, Saintines, du choeur de St. Quiriace de Provins, et les nervures de Monchy. Saint Eloi, des tribunes du porche de Saint-Leu-d'esserent, de la nef d'Acy-en-Multien, du choeur de Namps au Val.

Monday, 19 November 2007


hmm, seems like I havent done anything in quite a while - which is not entirely true. Ive been busy working and opening exhibitions, travelling Northwest, frying ducks and freezing cakes andandand many other useful things.. like - and that IS relative for this project - Ive finally got a table and a lamp and a working laptop and space around me for all the ideas that pop into my head. like having an Ile-de-France map with lots of little post-its that show the village churches that are formally connected to Saint-Martin, and A printer, and right next to me a perfect little shelf (actually the windowsill) that holds my picturebox. and so on.

After creating that tidy workplace that will render me horribly concentrated and masterminded I cleaned my lego-usb-stick and turned it into a project storing device. ALhtough I have started neglecting it already in the meantime.

Ive also found and read some more texts by Dehio, Anne Prache, Henriet and Kimpel/Suckale that hold some more or less general information about the creation of THE GOTHIC and at least mention Saint-Martin-des-Champs positively (in spite of not being built quite straightly yet).

what else?
Im planning another attack on the monuments historiques. theyve GOTTA be accessible somehow.

Apart from all that I feel ready to start writing now. nothing big and new maybe, but it would be nice to get rid of the description and history, maybe followed by the literary discussions. So that I can finally get started on lloking thoroughly at vaulting systems and changing principles of pier and column concoctions.

but let me get back to holepunching for just one night and then well see.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

writing and reading

yes, I've actually started writing something. High time. That was yesterday though.. After an inspiring debate with a long lost friend on Thursday evening, I spent the rest of the night constructing first sentences and chapter structures - unfortunately only on my mind, as I was in bed then. Obviously the next morning, all my lovely compositions were gone. Nevertheless I started WRITING on Friday morning. Beginning with general stuff about literature. do you wanna know?

Hmm, it's basicly about there not being too many art historians who have dealt with the topic thoroughly. There is one Lefèvre-Pontalis who wrote two pretty detailed essays in 1886 and 1919. And there is not too much more new stuff. BUT the good thing is, that a very industrious historian (A. Sohn, as mentioned before) wrote two highly interesting pieces on Saint Martin des Champs and there are several publications by the archaeologists who've been involved in the digging going on there in the 1990s.

Most texts are in French. Which wouldn't be a real problem if technical words were used consistantly. Or translated consistantly...

there's also a really good website with pictures of romanesque and gothic buildings, I can recommend to anyone interested:

that's what I'm up to at the moment.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Henry Ist, King of France gives privileges to Saint Martin des Champs

book illumination
British Museum, London,
ms. Add. 11662, fol.4
(dated 1079-1096)

linguam latinam sacram cognoscere, studiare et sapere necesse est

currently I'm working on all the old documents that proove that something that many people claim to be true actually happened. It's quite fascinating to find yourself reading nearly 1000 year old texts. And mostly they are quite easy to understand (see the green lines form the dedication charta on the bottom right of the page) - at least once you've got used to having a giant dictionary on your lap most of the time. Its interesting how you can even read between the lines. HAINRICUS' reasons for his foundations are pretty obvious. He was old and ill, and worried about his spiritual welfare as well as the future of his kingdom. Thus, in the few months before his death he founded Saint Martin des Champs and a lithurgical memorial donation at St.Remi in Reims, and announced his son Philipp to be successor to the throne. That all makes perfect sense. But why did his son, Philipp, that is Philipp Ist, King of France, after continuing his father's foundation for a few years, turn Saint Martin des Champs into something completely different - he exchanged the secular canon monks for Clunacian ones, decreased the independant status of the abbey by turning it into a priory and put it under the control of the abbot of Cluny, then Hugo Ist... hmm, Andreas Sohn gives nice answers to this. He's my favourite in this whole literary battle anyway. His arguments are fresh, he seems to trace back everything himself (a good opportunity to find other people's mistakes) and always gives the exact sources of what he's claiming. A model of a historian. Pity he isn't an art historian; on the other hand I wouldnt have anything to do here, if he was.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007


sorry guys (is anyone reading this at all? hopefully not, its actually all quite top secret), due to technical problems and malfunctions I havent been able to access that is to edit this luvly page. Although I have been way to lazy in terms of working on my project its not like I didnt do anything at all. Im sitting ovet the document thing (Depoin and Company) and have come up with some great charts. Ill show you later, along with some new pictures.. need to rush off (blood to the head) now.

PS: got flagged in the meantime.. yay.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

pictures labelled

another bit of tedious work is fulfilled: Ive labelled all my pictures now and arranged them into groups and subgroups in a huge shoebox (thanx to the donour and his amazing new hiking boots). I hope it makes sense how Ive put them, but then again, its not too important, as I will have to take them out all the time anyway to WORK on them. Additionally I think it would be a good idea to label the digital photos as well, at least with a place name, and to print out some of them at the photoshop to have it all in one medium.

Friday, 17 August 2007

other art of the 2nd 1/4 of the 12th C.

It would be really good to make a chronological list with all the sculpture and architecture Saint Martin can be compared to:

[1090/1100 San Vittore, Muralto, Locarno]
before 1100/1st half of C12th Saint Remi, Reims (chapterhouse sculpture)
1132-1140 Saint Denis (West), Paris (western narthex structure, capitals, west facade sculpture around portals)
1140-1144 Saint Denis (East), Paris (ambulatory and chapel structure)
1134-1147 Saint Pierre de Montmartre, Paris (? no pix yet)
before 1150/after 1163 Notre Dame, Paris (maybe sculpture on south portal of West facade, maybe capitals in ambulatory?)
1163 Saint Germain des Pres, Paris
(capitals in ambulatory, chapels and Westportal, Archy structure in chapels)
1170 Saint Julien le Pauvre, Paris (probably some capitals, but not really)


ok, now this jsut needs to be connected to some dates, if there happen to be any known...
(just added the information in, its from my great chart, more or less according to Anne Praches Romanesque Art of the Ile de France, 2/10/07)

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

of leopards and capitals

Ive just come back from a GREAT Swiss holiday of which Ive spent one day in Locarno (Lago Maggiore, filmfestival, leopards and t-shirts with that very same animal.. oh, and great yellow ice cream). As I was walking down a forgotten road to a cinema that would not show the film we wanted to see we STUMBLED upon this cute old thing (see picture above):
a romanesque church!
with a crypt!
with capitals!
with capitals that bear at least SOME similarity to what I like to call MY church these days (although i havent done so for quite a wile, as I was on holiday, for once even from art history). more about that soon...

Sunday, 22 July 2007

the outcome of an arthistorians' farewell party

Actually, there are SOME news: last thursday I talked to my tutor for this project about the results of my Paris trip (after being introduced to holy Victor Stoichita; unfortunately I missed Dieter Kimpel). There are no actual results, really, apart from the "material" that I have now and that I will deal with. There is some progress with the picture labelling, as you might have noticed on my chart there on the right, and Ive kind of prepaired a portfolio about the project to show around, which has been of no use so far. Therefore, I have spend some time on getting the time chart right, but what is really important now is to get the bibliography properred out. Also, I need to get through to the monuments historiques, that is something French that might contain some information about what is old and what is new in Saint Martin des Champs choir, as this seems to be a major problem for me at the moment - how can I analyse things and compare them to other elements when Im not even sure if they are 12th, 18th, 19th, 20th or 21st Century..

Another thing is, Id like to post some more pictures on here, also along with the text, or give a link to another frame with some enlargable thumbnails... Anyone out there who happens to know how?

Sunday, 8 July 2007

the story so far...

So far, Ive collected lots of texts on the topic of Saint Martin des Champs, mostly though incorrect, short or very general remarks. However, there seem to be a couple of historians (Andreas Sohn, Cornelia Heitz) and archeologists (Catherine Brut, Danielle Valin Johnson, et.al.) working on their specific aspects of the church and the whole ancient priory. BUT (and this is important as this is just when I come in) since the early 1920s no art historian has shown too much interest in this marvellous bit of architecture. SO, what Im about to conceive is just that, an arthistorian synthesis of the choir of Saint Martin des Champs of Paris, including all the historic and archeologic evidence combined with the clever connections ONLY the clever art historians could ever come up with.

WE ART HISTORIANS do not need much to carry out our profession. Apart from some REAL ART or some reasonably good (i.e. you can actually make out SOMEthing on them) illustrations of the things we want to think or talk or write about we could go without food or rest or even wine for quite some while. (This sounds obvious, but curiously enough, some members of this orchideic trade often forget this little condition and keep going on for ages about things without illustrating them by any picture at all, or even worse, a really bad one.)

(By the way, you can just skip that last paragraph if youre in a rush). Anyway, what I was actually going to state here, was that due to the lack of any pleasing picture material about MY CHOIR, I was forced to travel all the way to Paris in order to ban that clumsy masterpiece onto film. That is onto 14 films. Using two conventional cameras with three different lenses and a little digital gadgety one. Here I would also like to thank my notoriously beautiful and cunningly skilled assistant for being there
virtually since day one.

As to the actual quality of the pictures taken, I can already now announce, that the results are quite pleasing; even if some shots will have to be repeated (oh no, Ill have to go there AGAIN! Volunteers for the assistant role, please contact me asap, there are only few places to be taken).

So, theoretically, Ive got the pix now, Ive got the literature (i.e. what OTHERS thoughtwise have created on the topic), so off i should go (or pop as the weasle does so often). And hopefully soon I will. Just need to work myself through that list there on the right. Better start now.

picture taking marathon

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