Hunting the Plantagenets

A Masterpiece of Medieval Art and a Remote, Rock-Cut Chapel


SOJOURN DESCRIPTION: Tucked away in an unassuming neighborhood on the outskirts of the picturesque village of Chinon, France lies a fascinating rock-cut chapel dedicated to the female Saint Radegonde who lived during the 6th Century and founded the Abbey of the Holy Cross in nearby Poitiers. Evidence suggests the site where the chapel is found was occupied as early as 10th century BC, and it was a place of Pagan worship prior to being consecrated as a Christian chapel around the year 530. Both the structure of the chapel and its history are fascinating in their own right, but by far the most extensively studied and discussed element of the site is an exquisite fresco located at the top of the north wall of the nave, only discovered during renovations in August 1964. The work depicts five mounted figures – two of which are crowned – in a procession. Because of the crowns, it has been widely speculated the image depicts the Plantagenet royal family, with Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine being the two crowned figures. Others have suggested the scene is of a royal hunting party, and, due to this, the work has been dubbed, The Royal Hunt. The fresco is marvelously detailed and ripe with symbolism. But why would such a masterpiece have been added to a remote, troglodyte chapel where it would be admired by so few? That question is only the beginning of the engrossing mysteries surrounding this enigmatic work.

During this live 90-minute virtual sojourn you will experience:

  • A historical overview of the chapel and explanation of its main architectural and decorative elements
  • How you can visit the chapel when you visit the Loire Valley
  • A journey into the fascinating rock-cut Chapel of Saint Radegonde in Chinon, France
  • A detailed exploration of the masterpiece fresco, The Royal Hunt

YOUR VIRTUAL SOJOURN LEADER: This fascinating virtual sojourn will be presented by Art Historian, Aurzelle da Silva. The child of highly-accomplished artist parents, Aurzelle grew up in the arts community of New York City where she lived and worked until relocating to the Loire Valley in 2003. She earned a Master in Medieval Art History with a specialization in Plantagenet Art at the University of Poitiers and her research on the subject has been published. In addition, she holds a degree in French Heritage from the University of Clermont Ferrand and is certified as a guide-conférencier in history and art history and is an official guide to the National Monuments and Museums of France.

SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2024
3:00 PM (EASTERN) |12:00 PM (PACIFIC)
PRICE: $18.00

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