Friday, April 10, 2015

brilliant bones

Checked this out of the library last week

"In 1578 word spread of the discovery in Rome of a network of underground tombs containing the remains of thousands of early Christian martyrs. Many skeletons of these supposed saints were soon removed from their resting place and sent to Catholic churches in Europe to replace holy relics that were destroyed during the Protestant Reformation. Once in place the skeletons were then carefully reassembled and enshrined in costumes, wigs, jewels, crowns, gold lace, and armor as a physical reminder of the heavenly treasures that awaited in the afterlife.

Over the past few years photographer Paul Koudounaris who specializes in the photography of skeletal reliquaries, mummies and other aspects of death, managed to gain unprecedented access to various religious institutions to photograph many of these beautifully macabre shrines for the first time in history." (text via)

Am now completely obsessed with bones covered in jewels and gold. One of the peculiarities of the middle ages is now really inspiring gothic (in the sense of morbid) roccoco art phenomenon.

And the most disturbing one of all ...

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