Judith gets stoned

24 Apr

The Benedictine abbey of Vézelay has had its ups and downs.   Roman villa, Carolingian court, two convents looted by Moors, rebuilt and burnt by Normans, rebuilt as an expensive abbey church that overtaxed peasants who then killed the abbot, send off for the 2nd and 3rd Crusades.  It is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a masterpiece of Burgundian Romanesque art and architecture.


 This type of Medieval architecture contains capitals (the topmost point between the column and the load thrusting down upon it) that resemble manuscript illuminations contorted to fit the space that they occupy.


And here is Judith and her maid, squished into the capital of the nave.   Very clever use of space.  And stone.

unknown, “Judith with the head of Holofernes,” 12th century, nave capital, Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, Vézelay, France

They’ll stone you when you’re trying to be so good
They’ll stone you just like they said they would
They’ll stone you when you’re trying to go home
They’ll stone you when you’re there all alone
But I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned

– Bob Dylan



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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Story


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