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Item of the month of August 2019

Paintings of the western wall of the chapel : the Judgment Day.
During a campaign between 1914 and 1916, archaeologist Albert Naef and painter Ernest Correvon decided to complete the restoration of the chapel's paintings with the western wall, whose medieval paintings had been almost completely destroyed. From a meagre original clue, they choose to recreate a painting symbolizing a Judgment Day.

Dating from the 14th century, the paintings are organized around the figure of Christ.
The frescoes on the ceiling depict characters of the Old Testament from Christ's earthly lineage or prophets who announced his coming. This set ends with John the Baptist, making the transition to the New Testament. On the eastern wall, wall paintings represent the announcement made to Mary of her maternity. The northern and southern walls evoke the New Testament. They are heavily repainted.
The western wall is the most damaged. A thin fragment of original painting remains on the left, representing the head of an angel. Following a chronological reading, Naef and Correvon choose to represent a "Judgment Day", the end of time according to Christianity. They copy another painting from the narthex of Romainmôtier Abbey. But during the 20th century, researchers rejected this hypothesis. The presence of an angel refers, according to them, to an Ascension of Christ into heaven, to a Christ in Majesty with a procession of angels symbolizing the resurrection or to a Coronation of the Virgin after she had ascended into heaven. As it stands, the issue is not settled.

Ernest Correvon
Paintings of the western wall of the chapel : the Judgment Day
1914-1916
Polychromatic wall painting

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