The Great Calvaries of Brittany and the Medieval Breton Burzud braz Jezuz


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Breton Calvaries (see fig. 3) are not simply roadside cruci- fixes;1 these granite sculptures include images of saints who witnessed the life, Passion, and death of Jesus-and also often saints especially venerated in· Brittany or in a particular parish. But the great Calvaries. additionally include statuary groupings, bas-reliefs, or frieze carvings· which depict scenes from the life of Jesus, especially from the Passion. While similar scenes are depicted in these Calvaries,. each·· sculptor worked inventively to shape his figures and to introduce unique details, expanding the narrative and iconographic formulae of each scene. Devotion to the Passion in Brittany was, to be sure, a particularly important aspect of popular religion in that region. According to tradition, the most popular Breton saint, Yves de Tréguier (1263-1303), preached on one Good Friday about the Passion in seven different churches, and many of the faithful followed him from place to place.2

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