Architecture of truth: the Cistercian Abbey of Le Thoronet
Le Thoronet Abbey, one of the wonders of twelfth-century Cistercian architecture and still revered by architects today, nestles in a wooded valley in Provence, south of France. This book is a pictorial appreciation of the abbey, photographed by Lucien Herve in the mid-1950s and introduced by Le Corbusier. 'The pictures in this book are witnesses to the truth', is how he describes Herve's photographs of the Romanesque abbey. Herve's exquisite study presents the building throughout the course of a day, depicting the changing play of light and shadow on its stone vaulted exterior and interior. Highly textured and almost abstract in quality, his photographs reveal how the abbey is defined as much by light as by the conventions of Romanesque architecture, as well as conveying the intense spirituality of the Cistercian monastic order. Arranged according to the canonical hours of prayer, Herve's photographs are complemented by quotations from the psalms and the saints. An essay by Father Samuel of the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Sept-Fons provides an insight into the Cistercian monastic order, while architect John Pawson contributes a personal appreciation of this fine example of Cistercian architecture.
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Abbey of Notre-Dame Abbot Amalarius of Metz apse arcade at sunrise architect Architecture of Truth Armarium beauty Benedictine Bernard of Clairvaux Blessed canonical hours carved cellarer's grange central courtyard century chapterhouse walk Cistercian abbey Cistercian architecture Cistercian Order Cloister arches cloister fountain cloister garden collation gallery Compline Corbusier CTteaux darkness daughter house David death decoration Divine Office door doorway Dormitory eastern Father France Gilbert of Swineshead glory hath hymn John Pawson Lavabo lay brothers light living stones located Lord lsaac of L'Etoile Lucien Herve Molesme monastery monastic buildings monks morning nave north transept Notre-Dame de Sept-Fons oculus poverty praise prayer Psalm reforms Robert of Molesme roof Rule of St sacristy semicircular arches sermon shadow simplicity Song of Songs southern arcade spiritual St Ambrose St Benedict St Bernard St Robert St Thierry stairs Terce Thee Thoronet Abbey Thou unto wall west facade western arcade