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Suger vs. Clairvaux

nichsara
November 08, 2013

Suger vs. Clairvaux

nichsara

November 08, 2013
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  1. The  Precarious  Place  of  Art  
    in  the  Medieval  World    
    Suger,  Abbot  of  St.  Denis,  “Of  the  Church’s  
    Ornaments”  from  De  Administra-one  and  
    Bernard,  Abbot  of  Clairvaux,  “On  Gold  and  
    Silver  Images  in  Monasteries”  from  
    Apologia.    

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  2. Clairvaux  vs.  Suger  
    Nave,  Fontenay  Abbey,  France,  
    1139-­‐1147.  
    Ambulatory  and  Apse  Chapel,  Abbey  
    Church  of  St.  Denis,  France,  1140-­‐1144.  

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  3. Piety  
    “Further  we  caused  the  
    actual  receptacles  of  the  
    holy  bodies  to  be  enclosed  
    with  gilded  panels  of  cast  
    copper  and  with  polished  
    stones,  fixed  close  to  the  
    inner  stone  vaults…in  such  a  
    manner,  however,  that  
    reverend  persons,  as  was  
    fiTng,  might  be  able  to  see  
    them  with  great  devoUon  
    and  a  flood  of  tears.”  
    “Money  is  won  with  such  
    skill  that  it  may  be  
    mulUplied.    It  is  expended  
    so  that  it  may  be  increased,  
    and  pouring  it  out  
    produces  abundance.    The  
    Reason  is  that  the  very  
    sight  of  these  costly  but  
    wonderful  illusions  
    inflames  the  men  more  to  
    give  than  to  pray.”  
    ~Clairvaux  
    ~Suger  

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  4. Idolatry  
    “We  profess  that  we  
    must  do  homage  
    through  the  outward  
    ornaments  of  sacred  
    vessels,  and  to  nothing  
    in  the  world  in  an  equal  
    degree  to  the  service  of  
    the  Holy  Sacrifice,  with  
    all  inner  purity  and  with  
    all  outward  splendor.”  
     
    “To  me  [golden  images]  
    somehow  represent  the  
    ancient  rite  of  the  
    Jews…  Or  is  it  that  since  
    we  have  been  mingled  
    with  the  genUles,  
    perhaps  we  have  also  
    adopted  their  ways  and  
    even  serve  their  idols.”  
    ~Clairvaux  
    ~Suger  

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  5. Money  
    “You  could  see  how  
    kings,  princes,  and  many  
    outstanding  men,  
    following  our  example,  
    took  the  rings  off  the  
    fingers  of  their  hands  
    and  ordered,  out  of  love  
    for  the  Holy  Martyrs,  
    that  the  gold,  stones,  
    and  precious  pearls  of  
    the  rings  put  into  this  
    panel.”    
    “O  vanity  of  vaniUes,  but  no  
    more  vain  than  insane!    The  
    Church  is  radiant  in  its  walls  
    and  desUtute  in  its  poor.    It  
    dresses  its  stones  in  gold  
    and  it  abandons  its  children  
    naked.    It  serves  the  eyes  of  
    the  rich  at  the  expense  of  
    the  poor.    The  curious  find  
    that  which  may  delight  
    them,  but  those  in  need  do  
    not  find  that  which  should  
    sustain  them.”    
    ~Clairvaux  
    ~Suger  

    View Slide

  6. Big  QuesUon:  Are  golden  images  more  
    harmful  than  good  to  the  devout?  

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