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The priory St Laurent

Whe have few documents on the origin and history of this ancient priory, dependent on the nearby abbey of Saint-Genou.

The church SAINT LAURENT seems to be dated from the late eleventh century, the painted decoration is essentially the beginning of the XIIth century.

It had during the Revolution the fate of many religious buildings, sold as national property, fragmented, turned into several homes before being badly damaged by fire in the XIXth century.

They are children of the village on the eve of the War of 1940 that found, under the plaster that covered them, the murals that are the main wealth.

Despite the classification of the building in 1945, it might wait until the year 1977 for a first rescue paintings threatened by decay and disappearance consolidates custody.

Two restoration campaigns in 1979 and 1990 rescue them, the second associated with a consolidation of the arches of the nave, which extracy from coatings and deposits the admirable ancient majesty of Christ in the vault of the choir.

It is likely that the original church was completely painted ; what was saved is even more valuable.

The situation of the Virgin enthroned in majesty in the cul de four of the apse between two saints holding palms, on a seat-shaped nave with two armrests dragon heads with the child on her lap, testament to the dedication of the original priory at Notre Dame. (below)

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The head of the Virgin, surrounded by a jade green veil which falls forward on his shoulders, wearing a red crown square. The halo that frames it is yellow with a red band around the edge. The dress. with wide hanging sleeves lined with yellow-red-purple in the same tone as the seat. The large leaves left and right are also accented with yellow.

Reproduced in most books on Romanesque painting, she graces the cover of the "ROMAN BERRY" Zodiac Collection.









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It is at the location of the north window of the apse, walled in XVth Century, that was represented the martyrdom of St. Laurent on the gridiron, head of the church from that time.










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In the setting of a barrel vault a Christ in Majesty, wearing a dress the same color as that of the Virgin, is surrounded by a glory oval, yellow, red and green.

Hieratic attitude, the cruciform nimbus, right hand blessing, left holding the book of Revelation belongs to the classical Roman iconography of Christ of the Apocalypse.

The technique used for paints is that of the fresco (painting technique "a fresco") where the color pigments are mixed with water and applied to the coating still fresh milk of lime without using a binder, in which they are integrated during the drying process - technical demands of the artist great speed and perfect mastery of his art.

Around him the symbols of the evangelists also classic: lion of St. Mark - Angel of St. Matthew - St. John's eagle - the bull of St. Luke would have been somewhere in the lower left is unfortunately lost.