Priory in Ambierle
Benedictine monastery dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, founded in 505, aggregated at the beginning of the 10th century at the order of Cluny and reduced to the rank of Priory in 1101. The current church of the 15th century replaces the Romanesque church destroyed by fire around 1441, rebuilt by Antoine de Balzac of D'entragues, prieur between 1445 and 1490.
The historical Loire
Ambierle commune of the canton of Saint-Haon, contains one of the oldest religious monuments of Forez: it is the Abbey which this town takes its name. A Charter of the year 902, long kept in the archives of the House, and given by Louis IV, Emperor and son of Boso, King of Burgundy, learns that the Abbey of Ambierle, dated back to much earlier times: this Charter named thus: abbatiam in honore Sancti Martini dicatam, quae nominatur Ambierta, pertinetur ad archiepiscopatum lugdunensem, conjacente in pago Rodanensi. We need to point out on this occasion that, geographically, this part of the Roannais belonged to the count of Forez, then dependent on the Kingdom of Burgundy, for the time, while she reported to the Lyonnais for the spiritual: which often caused from long conflicts between these two powers; happy when debates became not bloody.
In 938, i.e. thirty-six years after the date of the above mentioned title, Ambierle Abbey was subjected to that of Cluny, which Saint Odo II was then Abbot. One hundred years later, this House became a simple Priory; but he was given since then to clerics of high nobility: the Abbé de Larochefoucauld was the last holder. Ambierle Church, today erect branch, was rebuilt as a whole, during the ogival; It is extensive, a pretty noble architecture, and contains the burial place of the Lords of Pierre Fitte. But it's misused that some visitors have thought here recognize the architecture of the 11th century: the monument is Gothic. There are valuable, well-preserved stained-glass windows and delicately carved: one and the other have the character of the last years of the fifteenth century.
Source: The Loire historic, picturesque and biography by Georges Touchard-Lafosse
- We dont know what time was the Foundation first Ambierle Abbey (Amberta); only it is a Charter of the Emperor Louis IV, said the blind man, in 902, this Abbey dedicated to saint Martin, and located in the Roannais (she has since part of the Lyonnais) had 30 maz or villages, dependent of its direct. The Emperor, on the recommendation of the Duke Willelme, gave the nomination to two secular Lords named Bernard and Tbeutbert.
- Thirty-six years after (938), St. Odo, Abbot of Cluny, touched so much awareness of these two Lords, they released him this Abbey; She was by him United and subject to the order of Cluny.
- In 939, King Louis IV, approving this break, gave letters of protection and save guard at this Abbey; This approval was confirmed by the Council in Anse, in 990 It is the result of another Charter saint Odile, Abbot of Cluny, had Ambierle Abbey under his Government in the year 1038.
- It's his time (994-1049), and by his care, Celtic Abbey was fully built. already she was famous and renowned.
- Since then, she suffered the fate of all - the other abbeys that were under the regime and the subordination of the order of Cluny, and was reduced in Priory by saint Hugues, Abbot (1049-1109).
- By a Charter dated the year 1161, Louis VII confirmed for the order the rights he had on Ambierle and possessions.
- In 1169, the same King mit this Priory under his Dominion, in suam tulelam suscepil.
- In 1180, Artaud-le-Blane, who wore the title of Viscount, renounced, for the remission of sins, and in expiation of all the evils that he had made to the Church of Cluny, renounced, we say, for this church to custody and other rights that it claimed on Ambierle Priory and its dependencies.
- Formerly Ambierle monastery contained twenty monks; they were later reduced to eighteen. «Debent ibi cetebrari very missae cum note and ibidem debet fieri eleemosyna ter generalis in LY and omni die, transeuntibus.
- In 1783, no there there are more that six monks and prior, who was Mr. Abbot of la Rochefoucauld. Parler [Sélectionner tout] Cette traduction est de bonne qualitéC'est une mauvaise traduction.
The triptych of Ambierle
At the bottom of the apse of this remarkable monument, and behind the high altar, is located a triptych which offers, in terms of history and art, a strong interest.
This triptych form, in its middle part, a kind of subdivided main niche, itself, into several compartments, and introducing, as a whole, a crucifix in carved and painted wood on which range groups that reproduce the scenes from the Passion. These groups, also carved on wood and gilding and color, are executed in a manner quite rough, although that very-feature; each of the subdivisions which we have just discussed, is surmounted by dais adorned with pinnacles finely cut and similar to those that reproduce stained glass.
On either side of this central niche open components intended for the close; each of these components, consisting of two panels, is internally enriched with admirable paintings, two other small upper panes contain coats of arms (large shutters have 50 centimetres island wide, 1 meter 28 centimeters in height. The small flaps above 37 centimeters in width, on height 74.).
At the bottom of large panels, beautiful gothic characters reads the following inscription:
Cette table eu ce lieu présent
Donna, pour faire à Dieu présent,
Messire Michel de Chaugy,
Conseiller, Chambellan aussi ;
Et le premier maisire d'hôtel
Du noble prince dont n'est tel,
Philippe, bon duc de Bourgoigne,
En Tan que l'église témoigne,
Mil quatre cent soixante-six
Dieu voillo qu'en sa gloire sit.
Michel de Chaugy, whose name appears in the dedicatory inscription, belonged to a noble and ancient family which had its origin in the first Dukes of Burgundy, and had, since the end of the 9th century, the Earth and castellany of Roussillon (since barony in the Bailiwick of Autun) by the marriage of the daughter of Gérard de Roussillon with Michel de Chaugy whose descendants had religiously kept the name.
Gérard de Roussillon played an excessive role in our history to be necessary to speak in more detail; only here, remember that it is the founder of the Church of Avalon, of the Abbey of Vézelay and Poutieres-sur-Seine with Berthe of Aquitaine, his wife, recognized. A tradition, attested to by the old annalists of our province, also attributed to Gérard de Roussillon and Berthe d'Aquitaine Ambierle Abbey Foundation.
I have already said that the components forming the side panels of the triptych of Ambierle, were divided into four panels, two from each side. each of these panels contains the figure of a kneeling figure, accompanied by his patron saint standing behind him.
At first sight, one might assume that both reproduce the representation of the same individuals (donors), both these appear seem to first have a resemblance between them, so great is the identity of the poses and costumes. But a closer look soon recognize:
- On the Panel of the Central niche, on the right, Chaugy Michaud; St-Michel.
- On the second Panel, the same side, Laurette de Jaucourt. St-Laurent, martyr.
- On the panels from left, Jean de Chaugy, father of Michaud; St-Jean-Baptiste.
- And Antoinette de Montagu, wife of Jean; St Antoine, hermit.
Michel de Chaugy, on their knees, supported by a prie-Dieu, and the hand on a book is represented armed of all parts, less head that is naked and shaved use adopted by the Court of Philippe-le-Bon. A coat emblazoned his arms (quartered Chaugy and Roussillon) covers his cuirass.
With him is Laurette de Jaucourt his wife, also placed on a prie-Dieu emblazoned weapons of Jaucourt, and joined hands.
His costume consists of a black dress amount to the col with a belt red, fastened to the underside of the chest; quite extraordinary hairstyle is in a sort of whiteout cut squarely on the forehead and drooping on either side of the head in long folds that form tubes or cones and extends to the shoulders.
I already said that the characters painted on the other two panels, were coated with a suit absolutely similar to that described above.
When we examine the truth of attitudes, the naturalness with which are rendered figures, the meticulous, miraculous patience who presided over their reproduction, it is impossible to not be satisfied that these are portraits and portraits of the most scrupulous resemblance.
The patron saints, distinguished by their characteristic attributes are not treated with less talent and happiness.
It is mostly impossible to express with what perfection is made the image of the Archangel Michel, who is group, as I already explained, with that of the main character; a coat, richly embroidered with gold and pearls, is laid on his shoulders and floats on a shining armor whose form is borrowed from the middle ages; his long poulaines shod feet trample a misshapen monster that threatens his spear; the right hand extended towards the donor, it seems rather protect it and defend it. Yet once nothing could give an idea of the beauty, nobility and quietness that breathes this admirable figure.
If the table that we are considering here is not quite free from defects of composition and drawing that characterizes the productions of this period, it is easy to recognize how much they are attenuated and measure the immense as a grand step master has made art; so the lines are less dry and less steep; forms less slender and slender; already the ends no longer affect a disproportionate length etc... All reveals in the triptych of Ambierle one of the most valuable pages of painting in the 15th century.
The figures of the other patron saints give rise to the same observations.
Saint Laurent, costumed Deacon, a Palm hand, relied on the grill, instrument of his torture.
St. John the Baptist in half-naked supports the divine lamb.
By replicating saint Antoine, the painter seems to concern the military order that was created, according to some legendary, towards the end of the 4th century (370), under the invocation of this saint. so he gave him the complexion of an Ethiopian and took it a complete armour that covers the Brown robe of the hermit.
I speak point accessories; they attest to this precision, this uni, this wonderful accuracy that distinguish the school which is part of the work which is the subject of this manual. However, it is necessary to point out how are executed landscapes that form the bottom of each Panel: one is struck prime-facie of an agreement from the unusual perspective to this era of art, degradation of land there are enough scrupulously observed, paths, streams that criss-cross the intermediate plans and get lost in the distantquite fortunately made, the factories of an original and picturesque provision.
On small upper panes are painted two charming figures of angels dressed in white tunics and supporting both coats of arms with the arms of the donors.
These weapons are for one of the ECU:
Ecartelé on the 1st and 4th, contre-ecartele or and gules, which is Chaugy; 2nd and 3rd Vert on a cross or between 20 crosses the same, 5 in each canton, in saltire, which are the arms of Roussillon.
Complete here, according to p, the coat of arms of the brave Chaugy Michaud:
Helmet of gold, set of front, crowned with a Royal Crown;
Crest, a head of Golden leopard;
Media, a gold lion has Dexter and sinister, a savage holding a club as well.
Motto: You me aves, you me aves.
The other ecu is part of the same weapons and those of Jaucourt who are gold with 2 lions leopardes of sable, langued gules.
The components of the triptych of Ambierle have already been described, although very incompletely, by P. Montfaucon (antiquity of the French monarchy, volume IV, page 146). A woefully inaccurate engraving is attached to the text; the drawing had been taken from Mr. Gagnières portfolios.
If I speak not the paintings in grisaille, on a red background, covering the outer face of these same components, it is that they seem much less in merit to those that we have just discussed, they are obviously much more recent times and is recommend by any of the qualities that we just report.
Details where we are contacted we may be used to recognize the eminent artist to attribute a remarkable work.
In the first blow of eye, it is easy to ensure that this master belongs to the old Flemish school; the Dukes of Burgundy, counties of Flanders and, consequently, the Lords attached to their court last actually use rather than painters of this school, one of the most advanced at the time where they lived.
Another observation important is the triptych of Ambierle paintings are made with oil. However, without us worry here the question of whether this process was discovered or only called into use in the early years of the 15th century, it seems to us that it was simplified and became, so to speak, of publicly as long enough after that time.
Van Eyck, born in 1370, ended his days in a very advanced age and even when one would defer, as have most of his biographers, his death in the year 1450, this should point mean, comparing that date to that figure at the bottom of the triptych (1466), that it cannot be the author of the paintings which this triptych is adorned with, because the latter date is the dedication and not its implementation. In other words, this triptych was able, had even, be painted long before have been given the Church of Ambierle and place in the place where we see today.
The age that accuses the portrait of the donor would also be an argument in favour of the hypothesis that we present.
But what gives more force to Celtic hypothesis is that these paintings are noticed by all characters that mainly distinguished works of the master to which we assign them a.
Thus the regularity, or, better to say, the symmetry of the composition, a little cold wisdom, movements, expression and the beautiful type of heads, already fairly easy jet Valances, accessories finish, perfect details, the style of landscapes where manifests itself, as we have said, a fairly true perspective sense, finally the freshness and harmony still prodigious coloreverything confirms this opinion it is brush of Van Eyck that we need the masterpiece on which we call the attention of all friends of the arts.
Add, according to one of the authors involved in the life of Van Eyck, "what he did y had right of princes in Europe who wanted to have a few of his books; and that in particular he painted a few paintings for Philippe le-Bon who it filled his marks and gave him, said to be place in his advice... »
We permit to observe, in the ending, the conjectures that we venture in this manual because, on our part, it cannot be that conjecture, have acquired for us real value at the time where it has been allowed to compare the paintings of the triptych of Ambierle with table recently discovered at the hospital in Beaune, table generally attributed to Van Eyck and which represented Philippe-le-Bonhis family and the main characters in his court.
If now you wondered how this triptych is located in Ambierle Church, it would be easy to give the explanation of this fact by recalling one of the first among our former counties of Forez, meets this Gérard de Roussillon which, as we have seen, the family of Chaugy read its origin; a constant tradition, attested by historians of our province, indicates this same Gérard de Roussillon and Berthe of Aquitaine, his wife, as the founders of the Abbey of Ambierle; nothing less surprising that their descendants intended, during the last reconstruction of the Church of the Abbey, dedicate a memorial donation if Honourable souvenirs.
Source: Journal of the Lyonnais, 1845.
Crédit photo : pierre bastien ((Former) Priory, ambierle)
(Former) Priory, Benedictine monastery dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, founded in 505, aggregated at the beginning of the 10th century at the order of Cluny and reduced to the rank of Priory in 1101. The current church of the 15th century replaces the Romanesque church destroyed by fire around 1441, rebuilt by Antoine de Balzac of D'entragues, prieur between 1445 and 1490. ambierle, loire
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