Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Saints' Relics in Quebec City


Articulation visited many cathedrals, churches and chapels while in Quebec City.
Two were the most memorable for me. One was originally the Petit Seminaire of Quebec's chapel but now a deconsecrated building and incorporated into the Musee De L'Amerique Francophone.
My 1st reaction to the chapel was surprise when we discovered all the wood, marble and granite walls and ceilings are in fact sheet metal painted in the trompe-l'oeil style - a response to the earleir chapel being burnt down.
My 2nd response was to feel a bit creepy and fascinated at the same time.
It was my 1st experience of collected and displayed human body parts - reliqueries.

In amongst the rich gold work on velvet are the skeletal remains of saints.
The chapel has hundreds and hundreds of them.
In spite of feeling a bit repulsed I was drawn in to see how these bits of bone, hair and ashes are attached to the ground with stitch.

This reliquery I liked. I felt someone, or a group, really respected Saint Charles Borromee when they displayed his vestments so carefully then added a large gilt frame.

The work is full of items representing different things as well as pieces of his religious clothing. 

I hope there is a written record of what everything means and which parts of his life different items are referring to.
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