Sainte Foy révélée. La plus ancienne statue médiévale à Conques

Ivan FOLETTI, Adrien PALLADINO
Brno: Masaryk University Press, 2021, ISBN: 978-80-210-9816-9 [published]

The booklet Sainte Foy révélée. La plus ancienne statue médiévale à Conques [Sainte Foy Revealed: The Oldest Medieval Statue in Conques] is the first in a series of three booklets in French dedicated to the presentation of various aspects of the cultural heritage of Conques, the abbey church and the treasures in particular, to a broad non-academic audience. This first booklet, richly illustrated with original photographs and illustrations produced in the first year of the project, focuses on the core of the sacred site of Conques and the goal of the pilgrim’s devotion: the golden statue-reliquary of Sainte Foy. This artistic object, which has fascinated pilgrims for centuries, is often presented only as an object of faith or as an artistic bravado; the booklet re-examines it within a network of stories and devotional practices and explains the significance of the reuse of the golden facein providing the iconic potential and authority of a fourth-century emperor to a young female martyr.The goal is thus not only to disseminate the scientific results of the project, but also to make the story of this unique statue known by regular visitors of Conques, be they pilgrims or tourists. Both the format and the style of these booklets are conceived to reach specifically this audience, while at the same time keeping the highest standards for the photographs and illustrations, as well as texts.

Aux portes de la Jérusalem leste. Le tympan sculpté de Conques

Ivan FOLETTI, Cécile VOYER
Brno: Masaryk University Press, 2022 [in progress]

Aux portes de la Jérusalem Céleste. Le tympan sculpté de Conques [At the Doors of Heavenly Jerusalem: The Sculpted Tympanum of Conques] is the second bookletin Frenchin the short series dedicated to a broad non-academic audience. With more illustrations than the first one, which are the fruit of a photographic campaign on the tympanum realized within the project, this booklet presents the most visible artwork accessible to the visitor’s gaze when arriving in front of the abbey-church: the richly adorned and polychrome tympanum presenting the scene of the Last Judgement. Sculpted at the beginning of the 12th century, the portal is probably amongst the first of its type along the pilgrimage routes. The goal of the booklet is to present to a broad audience what perception the medieval pilgrims could have had of such an incredible artistic object, how they understood these sculptures and their theme, and what effect this liminal imagery could have had on them. It does so by explaining how a complex message of salvation is reinforced by sculpted images together with an elegant Latin poem which runs around and under them, borrowing from a variety of themes and concepts widespread in the broad and elite cultures of the 12th and 13th centuries.

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