A Documentary History of Art

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  • 18 Tm MIDDLE AcEschant for dwelling upon the maivlous, t-he curioUl, andthe c.alamitous.ID 1oo2-roo3, he wrote the lollowing often-mentioDed passage conceming contemporary chuch build-i"c.l


    lherefore, alter the above-mentjoned yar of the mil-lenaium which Ir now about ttrree yea.s pasr, there oc-cuned, tiroughout ttro world, especially in Italy and Caul,a rebuilding of cLuch basilicas. NotwitlEtanding tiegeatr nlrmber were already weI established and not inthe least in need, nevertheless each Christian people stroveagainsr the others to erect nobler ones. It was as iI thewhole earth, having cast oE the old by shaking itielf, wereclothing itselJ everywhere in the white robe of the church.Then, at last, aU the faidrJul altered completely most of tleepiicopal seaB Ior the better, and likewise, the mo.asteriesof the various slints as well as $e lesser places of prayerin the towrs. . . ,


    [St. Bemard of Cl&ilvaux ( 1og 1-r r St ) , the most influe*tial churchman o{ th twefth century, was bom near Di]o.of a noble family. As a youog man he entered the Monas-tery of Citeaux, of the Benedictine Order. In rrr5 hefounded a religious colony, tle Abbey of Clairaux, wb.ichwas recogrjzed iD rlrg by Pope Calixtul II. After devoungten years to the orgaDlzation of bi6 order, which by rr53recovered $,1& the removal ol the debris. See Th. PrestoD, TIBtoirz Doors of the Abbe'r ol Monta C6s1no and of St. Poll s,Aotu, Djs!. Prilceton, r9r5.lThe slectioD is trafflated hom the Latin as given by V.Mane\ RetuelL de bnes rel,tils d I'histahe d.e larchhecrua, . . . r. P"'s, ror,, p. a, by Mr. Ch"rl,, P. Pdlhusl.l!.. who"k" *"r" rh".h.'.;.rF

    OF CL1IIVAIJX 19consisted of 35o mon$teries, he erlended hjs bluence toail 0elds of ecllesiastical liJe by his lette , tractr ands"roou. He recognized the necessjry lor rFrorms \ujlhio Gechurc[ aEd attacked la-eress a.nd eornrpdon wberever hesaw t-hem. By Ge celebrated neadse De laudz r@oaemrritlze he iuitiEed the war of tle Cbrlstians agalDst theiDEd+ a4 preached t}le Second Crusade, 1146_1147,from the lallure of which he never recoverea. Ue &ea i;1r$, haviog devoted hs entire life to shengtledng t]echurch splrihlally and poUrjcaly.

    The 'Apologia" is part of a lener .il,ritien by St. BemaFdto the Abbor of SL-Thiery.l


    . . . But tLese are smdll Lhingsj I will pass on ro oattersgreater in themselves, yet seemhg smalJer because theyare more usral. I say naugbt of rh" vasr beight oI youchuches, their jmmoderar" lengrl. Geir sup.rfluousbreadtl, tle costly polirhjngs. Lhi curious carvj.ngs andpaintings which attract rhe rvorshjppert gaze and hi.nderhis aHentioD, and seem to me in som sorr a revivJ oI rbe'ancient rewish rites. Let rhjs pass. however: say thar thisls done for codt honou. Bur I say, es a mon}, ask of mybrolher rooDl(s as the pagan Jpoet persiusl askcd of bnfollow-pagans: 'Tell me. O PontiEs" (quoth hc) "whardoetb thb gold in tbe sanctuary? So say L "TeU me. yepoor Dea" (for I break the verse to keep tle sense) 'tellme, ye poor (if, indeed, ye be poor), what doetL tLft goldin you, srncluaryf And indeed tbe bisbops bave an excusewhjcb monks h3ve noir for we lTow ltrar tley, beingdebtors both to the wise and the unwis, aDd urable toexcite tho devotioE ot canxal to& by spiritual thlngs, do soby bodiJy adommenLs. But we lmonJ


    who have counted but dung, that we may win Christ, allthnss lair to see or soo hjnL ro hFar, swFet to snell deliEh'-Iul tlo taste. or pleasant Io toulh-in - uord' alJ bodilv de-Lqht

    -\ahosc devotion, P,ry, do we monk jnlPnd to e\crlFbi tlese thinr'? what ptont. I say, do \ve expect tlerelromaTie admiration ot tools, or rhe oblations of the simple? Or'since we ue scatteled anong the nations, have we per-chance leamt &eir works and do we vet serv their gravenimases? To sp"ak plainlv. dodr Ge lool of all this lie in-'I-'"**. *t i.l is idolaw, and do we seek not ptoir.but a gift? lf thou askest: "Hov?" I sav: "In a strangefashionl' For money is so altfullv scatieled tha! it mavm,JtiDlvi it is (xrended th,t il r-y give ircrei"e rndprodigalirl giver-h bhth lo plentvr for dt the v"rv 'ight otihese-costly-yet manelous vanities nen are more kindledto oEer giits than to pray. Thus wealth is drawn up bv.ooes of *ealth. Gus monev bringeth monev; Ior I Inownoi how ir i. that, sheresoe,er more abunddnt wealth isseen, tlere do men ofer more freelv. Then eves are feasted\,!'ith retics cased in gold, and thet pu$e"strings are loosedThev are shown a most comely image o[ some saint, whom*ev tt-r;nt utt tlle more saintly that he js the more gaudilvDaintd. Men rur to kiss him, and are invited to givei thereL nore admiration lor his comeliness ilan veneraLioD forhis sa.ctity. Hence the cburch is adomed with gemmedcrowns of Light-nay, with tustres like cart_wheels, girt allround with iamps, but no less brilliant witl the preciousstones that stud them lloreover we lee candelabn stand'i"E I'ke t e.' ot na"sive bronz", Lshioned wii-h mrrvellorssulbtlerv ot arr, and gustening no less briehdv with semsth,n

    'uth d. llghrslhel c,i'v wh"r. think vou is lhe

    ""-*" "f "U this? Th" compun"rion ol penitents or tl1e

    "a-iotio. ot the b"holders? O vanirv ot varuties vet no

    ."r" ,"i. ,l* insanel The church is resplendent in her*Jf.. U."*rA, in her poor: she clolhFs hPr slones in gold'."Jr".,;-ir,"'

    -,',"i'd; rhe ti' h mani evc is red at thel*pe"'e of tle i"aige"t. rhe curious ffnd their delight here',.i the needv find no rclpr. Do we nor revetP ai leasr th'ir,,s", ot rL" Sri,.t",

    "li L swJrn Pven in rhe inl.r:J ravc-;.;i';;" 4..,'. rr Jd' 14, n'r,' o,r',,t'm'' m the Ans(rs

    5T. BERNANN OF CLAINVAIiX 2Iface; often, again, the countenance of some Samt is SIoundunder the heel of a passer-by. Aad iI he spare not tlesesacred lnages, why Dot ven the Iair colours? Why dostthou make so fair which will soon be made so foul? Whylavisb bright hues upon that which must needs be hoddenunder foot? wlat avail these c.omely forms in places wberethey are defilod with customary dust? And, Iasdy, v,/hat aresuch things as these to yorl poor men, you monl(s, yourpiritual folk? Uriless perchanc'e here dso ye may answerthe poet's question in the words of the Psalmistr 'Lord,I Lave loved tlle habitstion of Thy House, and the placewhere Thine honou dweleth " I grant it, then, let us sufiereven &is to be done ir the churchi for, though it be harm-ful to vain and covetous folk, yet not so to the simple anddevout. But h ',tre clobter, under the eyes of tLe Breduenwho read ttrere, what profft is there in those ridiculourmonstert, lo ttrat marvellous ard deformed comeliness,thEt c.mely deformity? To what purPose are those uncleanapes, those 0erce lions, those monstrous cntaurs, tbosohalf-men, those striped tisers, tlose Gghtjng knigtrts, tlosehunters windiDg thei! holr)l? Many bodies are there seeDurder one head, or agaiD, Elany heads to a single body,Here is a four-footed beast with t serpent's tail; ttrere, afish wi& a beast's head. Here again the Iorepart of a Lorsetra& LaU a goat behhd it, or a homed beast bean ttreblDde! quarters of a horse. In short, so many and so mawelIous are the vadeties of diven shapes on every hand, thatwe arc mor temPted to read in tle marble than tn ourbooks, and to speDd the whole day in wondering at thesctllngs ratler than in meditatilg the law of God For Cod'ssake, iI meE arc not sshamed of tlese folies, why at leastdo they not shrink from the expense?

    ltre abundance of my matter suggested much more forme to addi but ftom tiis I am distracted bot! by mv owDafirous buli[ess and by the too hasty departure of Bro*erOger [t]re bearer oI this Ietterl. . . . This is my opinion oIyour Orde! and mine; nor can any maD testify more trulythan you, and those who know me as you do, tlet I amwont to say tlese things not about you but to your faces.$ihat in your Order ir laudable, that I praise and publish

  • I:

    22 \fi| IfDDLE ACESabloadi what is repleheBible, I am wont to pe$uade vou-nd my ollpr fripn l" io .m"r d. rni. i ,.o ,t_,,,.,io,i Lr,rat-bpr atLrrctioD $ L"retore I wholly pr.,)

    "nd bps"".h vo,,lo do t-be s,mc by ne. Far, wrlt



    fsuger (ro81-115r), scion of an obscure famity, wxsplaced in the Abbey of St.-Denis as an oblatc at rhe age o(ni.oe or teq and \l,as edLlcatcd tlere, For additjonal leam-ing bF weni ro Bu.rDdy. rrobabl) io th" ALb"v ot St._!ooit-rur-LoiJe. AJrFr ILis r"iur1 ,rbort r ro71 he sen"drls aDD, y." / -a"poqla o[ h\o n po.1n, pof-s.:on( \. 1loabout rrr2l aodr"\. in.dd,iion,nb,u.tq si,h vv.r lmissiorls to tlre Curia. On ttese he sened thc best intercsisof Lh- 3bhFy

    "s w"U ., oL King Lour \'t hj. tom-r .choo.-mnte, q1.o coosidprFd him, r_brougho.rr lile, a( ti" -.,x5tedrdviserrnd tojend."ln rrrr. S,t.r $ .

    ^rd,irFI Abbor ols,;-?:3. ""9 delorFd r:m "tf r; ,"rorm;, s rr.. ro,,J.rpryrabu ding tJ.c chuct.. aj.d cnrnhxjs ,hF trc.,.urr Loui.VIL drr son ot Louj. Vl, al"o

    "mptoy,d SuE"r "" bi,couns.lor aDLl I .trred I:m r SFnr duflls txs xi sfl c- on thSecond Crusad-" in r , "6

    ,Suge! \,rote Ee life of tns pah.on, Louis VI, and begana lifc oF Loujs vll. nut irom dre poirt ot vj.w o[ (he arrhjslorian his most impodant Lterary works are a treitrse onmatters coDceming the administration of the Abbey, includ-ing_ tle renodeling and redecoration o[ ttr abbe; churctr,and a more circunstantial dcscripuon ot the rebuiiding anjconJecration oI tle lattr. Sugcr died on January 13, 115r.l


    XJiIV, OI the Church's Decoldrion. Having assigned tLeincrease of the revenue ir this manner, we turncd our hand

    . 'r l.^ , ii Errs . rc