Thursday, December 15, 2011

Couvent des Célestins

I've seen a few churches in my life and this one seems pretty unique to me. I did some research on this monastery because it seems so unusual to me (from an architectural point of view) but found relatively little information in my Google searches. Evidently it started out as a wooden chapel built around 1389 and then, in 1393, Pope Clement VII granted the Celestines the authorization to build their monastery there. In 1395 the first stone was laid and construction continued until 1424, when work was stopped due to "insufficient resources". The architect, or Master of Works, was a fellow named Pierre Morel. Anyway, by the 17th century,the "Couvent des Célestins" was one of the most sumptuous in Avignon, with one of the richest accumulations of art. Most of that bit of history comes from this website on Avignon.

But what interested me from an architectural perspective I never found. There are arches that were started but  just end in space. The arched window in the upper left corner looks like something Louis Kahn would do - it's very modern. There are capitals to columns that are unlike any I have ever seen. If anyone comes across this blog entry and knows where I can learn more about the architectural treatment of this building, please do leave a comment or email me. I'd love to know more about it.

These watercolor sketches are in my 5x8 handbook.


Ana said...

I'm totally blind for architecture in a shameless degree that one that you don't say to those who can use it against you. lol
I would never notice that the arches started and "ended in space".
The capitals are unusual... I'll start to pay attention to capitals...
Oops, I just realized that as I live in Rio de Janeiro and our country has only 500 of history it must be an explanation for my lack of enthusiasm...
When I arrived in Rio from Europe I had a shock: those buildings from colonial times I thought were huge became tiny and the city looked so ugly...
Poor... I noticed how poor my people is when I got the first bus and there was a man selling candies... everything was strange.
The long road that take us from the airport to the city... my eyes were wide open in disbelief.
Now I'm used...
Yesterday I took a look in Paris by Google Earth.
I found it amazing that some places I used to go are different not for the better.
I saw some scenes that are not familiar to the Paris know.
Celestine was build around 1400 and my country was still "unknown" for Europe.
Than they came killed all the indigenous people brought some blacks from Africa and here we are!

Ken Foster said...

Interesting musings Ana. I'll have to sketch Rio sometime!