Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The Langeais Reliquary

The reliquary dates from the 13th century and is the oldest object in the collection of the Chateau of Langeais. It was conserved last year by sculpture conservator Laure de Guiran, thanks to a grant from the Fondation Lefoulon-Delalande. The reliquary is polychrome and gilded wood, set with rock crystal cabuchons and carvings representing the Apostles on the sides and the wise and foolish virgins on the lid. I'm afraid we got a certain amount of juvenile entertainment out of the wise and foolish virgins.

Photographed by Susan from Loire Valley Time Travel. https://tourtheloire.com

The conservator removed layers of varnish wax and bronzine (metallic powders in oil, much used in the 19th century) which had oxidised and blackened. Then she cleaned the reliquary and reattached original paint that had flaked off. Her work revealed original gilding and paint, including flesh tones on the carved characters and the colours of their garments, as well as decorative punchwork.

There is an article in English on the Loire Valley Tourist Office website about the reliquary and its conservation, which you can read here. There is also a short video with English subtitles about the conservation which you can see here, or, if you visit the chateau, it is shown alongside the reliquary itself.


For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.


Katie Zeller said...

We missed seeing a lot in our forays into the Chateaux. One always thinks they'll go back with more time, then never do. Maybe we should actually plan a trip. Food for thought. It's such a gorgeous area

Susan said...

Well deffo get in touch if you come. I'd be happy to show you around a bit if I'm free.

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