January 12, 2012

The cloisters attached to the cathedral in Elne were started in the Romanesque period, so, 12C, and built on through the Gothic period to end of 14C. The main material is blue marble from Céret

The roof to the cloisters is Gothic and very beautiful in its simplicity

The capitals on the twin columns are carved with narrative scenes of the life of Christ such as the Flight into Egypt and The Three Kings.

2 examples . . .

I like the angel who looks quite homely and full faced  and  . . .

. . . and the beautifully kept beard on this gentleman.

Also carvings of  animals such as lions, griffons and mermaids and there are also plants – acanthus and palms.  The exquisite carving came from the  Roussillon workshops.  I am glad that I returned to this and, also, to see the Musée Terrus showing the work of Étienne Terrus, colleague of Matisse and Maillol and those who worked and painted around Collioure and Céret at the start of 20C.  A Terrus sky appeared beyond the ramparts.

I know that you have been hiding yourself
In a dark room, disguised
As a Romanesque Cathedral
Hidden, yet obvious to itinerant eyes.

Beautiful, Tall, Strong, Lasting
Or, from outside, so you seem.
But I dare all wanderers to walk inside,
See the castle of victims, Redeemed

So dark it is inside, so cold,
Narrow windows allow faded light.
Only here could silence haunt every corner,
And estrangement become accepted as right.

How can you stage contentment
In a palace so lonely and bleak?
You don’t have to leave your Cathedral of woe,
But stop hiding your sorrow; please speak.   AnnaLeigh Jones  Romanesque

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