Where do you find Inspiration? (part 3)

August 29, 2007

Lately I discovered that another great resource for inspiration can be the grand cathedrals in the world – in other words “Sacred Art”.

I travelled into my hometown last week, spend a couple of days with my family and took the chance to go downtown a bit to see what has changed in the city. I also went into the cathedral – the Freiburger Münster – and realized that I had forgotten completely what treasures the cathedral has: first, the fantastic colourful glass windows, nearly all them in their entirety still the originals from the 13th, 14th and 15th century, second their sculptures which are another treasure besides the whole architecture from the 13th century with the newly invented one tower system with a completely perforated tower cap – these will be covered in another series.

The the most amazing fact with the windows is that each of them is a kind of medieval “comic” series, which means each window tells a story in order to educate the people. It is easy to forget that in the medieval era the population was nearly entirely illiterate – so this was a perfect opportunity to teach people about ethics and moral.

Also – what may not be generally known – the interior of the cathedral was entirely financed by the population – not the clerus. The rich guilds of that time, such as the bakers, the miners and the clothmakers and merchants financed many of the windows – which you can still see in their symbolics, such as scissors, brezel, hammer and pick. This is an early form of sponsorship!

Somehow the cathedral always survived the tragedies in history, even the night of the anglo-american bomb attack on the 27th of November in 1944 through a miracle – this is at least what the population believed and even if it was through a “contract” with the victors not to bomb the cathedral – considering the damage which destroyed about 90% of the city – it was definitely a miracle (see photo from 1945 )

I have started a series about the art treasures in the cathedral with showing photos from the wonderful windows. One of my favourites is this one because it looks so elegant and beautiful:






If you are interested in seeing more of these wonderful windows please check out my photoblog

Many inspirations for art derive from sacred places. For centuries it was the only opportunity to create art in the western world that could be looked upon and marvelled at publically at all so why shouldn’t this be a further resource for any art created in modern times?


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