Vézelay, Burgundy

Janet Quintrell Treloar

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The Romanesque Arch
A visual language for Europe

This work has been accumulated over a period of five or six years, but my fascination with the Romanesque began when I was sixteen and my brother Peter, who was reading history at Oxford, was awarded a travel scholarship to study the Romanesque in Normandy. Off we went together with very little money, lots of reference books and with my sketch books, paints, pen and ink, but no camera.

We covered quite a distance before the money ran out and from that time I have felt more European than just English.

Later I travelled a great deal especially in Eastern Europe and the former Yugoslavia. A visit to see the pilgrimage churches of France, making a circle from Orleans to Tours via Conques, Perigeux and St Savin was followed by a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela which is one of the greatest of all Romanesque centres.

These paintings are the result of many strands coming together, reflecting, I hope, the words of the Medieval scholar, Helen Waddell who saw the architecture of this period as "The stark simplicity of reverence".

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