A little while back, friends Susan and Simon who write the blog Days on the Claise ran into Marc Dimanche, an acquitance of theirs. A devoted member of the Preuilly archaeological society, he offered them the opportunity to visit the Chapelle de tous les Saints [All Saints' Chapel] which is located on the left as one drives into Preuilly-sur-Claise from the direction of Le Grand Pressigny. They had written a post about the chapel before here, but had never had the opportunity to see inside.
|La chapelle de tous les Saints, from the jardin public|
|Chapel from the side: showing the door which would have led to the cemetery|
|Chapel interior showing support bracing|
On both sides runs a wide band depicting the dance of the dead. The dance of the dead in the chapelle de tous les Saints is unusual as the murals depict both a male and a female dance. To the left is a men's dance, to the right is a dance of women. Both are accompanied by texts. On the far wall, to the left of where the altar stood, is an orchestra of the dead. There are four musicians: one chap is playing the bagpipes, the second an organetto, the third a harp and the last a pipe & tabor.
|Marc's beautiful drawing showing the orchestra of the dead on the right|
|Dance of the women: The wife on left, maiden on the right, shrouded corpse between them|
|Dance of the women: the shepardess, the lover, the nun and the widow|
|Marc's drawing: the child at far left under the window|
|Illustration of the section of dance of the women mural closest to the altar|
|You can just see faint traces of writing above the queen and the cadaver grabbing the abess' staff|
|Illustration of part of the dance of the men mural|
|Dance of the men: the bailiff|
It would be lovely to see the danse macabre conserved and the chapelle de tous les Saints open to the public so that people could enjoy seeing it and so catch a glimpse of medieval life; to have a bit of bustle once again.
With grateful thanks to Marc Dimanche for permission to use images of his beautiful drawings which re-create the chapel's murals.