During graduate school, I read Saint Judas, Apostle and Martyr by Dr. Kathryn Wildgen, a book about the St. Lazarus Cathedral in Autun, France; specifically, the capital of the suicide of Judas. After I read this book, I was hooked on the Middle Ages. I wanted to see this cathedral in Autun and all of the sculptures created by Gislebertus.
Ah – but then it got even better. Wildgen turned all of her knowledge about the St. Lazarus Cathedral into a Southern Gothic thriller novel Fractal. She wove together modern-day suspense and an intrigue involving Gislebertus. Wildgen’s imagination turned the Middle Ages into “cool.”
Then I knew I could not miss seeing the cathedral that Gislebertus sculpted. So Norm, good guy that he is, took me to see this place that held tightly to my fascination.
size-medium wp-image-4628 alignnone” title=”St. Lazare Autun (79)” src=”http://desultorytree.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/st-lazare-autun-79.jpg?w=225″ alt=”” width=”225″ height=”300″ />” title=”St. Lazare Autun (42)” src=”http://desultorytree.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/st-lazare-autun-42.jpg?w=300″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”225″ />
And there, right under Jesus in Glory, was the sculptor’s signature – etched there almost nine hundred years ago. “Gislebertus hoc fecit,” or Gislebertus made this.
Oh, how art can make me feel alive – connected to those who have gone before me!
If you can’t make it to Autun, I invite you to read Wildgen’s works. Whether you choose to read her non-fiction treatise or her novel, you will take a glorious step back in time with no regrets.
See my YouTube slideshow for more photographs.