Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reims Rocks!

the smiling angel

The front entrance is studded with figures. Life size figures flanking the entrances, and little tiny figures all along each segment of the entry arches. A lot of restoration work ahead.

Look at the graceful poses, and you know right away the woman to the right is the older one.

These are a little more stiff but cool in their quirkiness. I like the little landscapes they stand on.

I guess this is Abraham getting ready to sacrifice his son?

Wow. All I can say is wow. The sculptures covering the cathedral are very expressive. This is unusual as far as cathedrals go. The smiling angel is down right famous for the very fact that there on a cathedral is a smile. How unserious, how not all about the martyrdom of christ the bravery of christian soldiers, the heavy wisdom and absolute power of Moses handing down the laws of God. All that real human emotion I guess doesn't fit into the narrative of a absolute all knowing God, and right behind him the absolute all powerful king and church. Anyways the sculptures are really stunning in their expressiveness and naturalism. Very beautiful. Time however is eating away at the stone, and at this level of expression every detail counts. There were displays inside the church about how they are restoring the sculptures using the latest laser reconstruction technologies. The process looks time consuming, but is well worth it. It was also a little sobering to see that even stone is not permanent, and over hundreds of years it too will literally melt away. The cathedral in Reims is well worth the visit, it truly is a wonder.