St. Innocents, Contemporary representations

Jakob Grimer, ca. 1570
The P points to the outdoor pulpit.
Jakob Grimer
Detail with octagonal tower. Notice how the ossuary in the background has two floors with skulls.
Innocents-2, Jakob Grimer

One of the very few images is attributed to Jakob Grimer and is from ca. 1570. The painting shows the octagonal tower and this is seen so clearly on the detail to the right that I have refrained from marking it with a red T.

The painting gives a rare overview: To the left are the ossuaries with the many arcades. in the background is St. Innocents Church, and to the right of the church (behind the octagonal tower) there is another ossuary with arcades. This house is built one floor higher to make room for all the skulls. On the right side comes another ossuary with arcades and as the detail image shows one can catch a glimpse of La Danse Macabre.

Pulpit
Innocents-3, Pulpit

The Croix de Gastines cannot be seen but this might be because it's hidden behind Tour Notre Dame des Bois, or maybe it's because the painting is from before this tower was moved to St. Innnocents in 1571. It can of course also be because of these images not being as precise as they seem to be.

On the other hand the painting does include another characteristic building, namely the outdoor pulpit, which I have marked with a red P.

In the picture to the right from 1786 it seems to be bricked up, but as the picture on the left shows, it was fully open in 1570.

IsraŽl Silvestre

IsraŽl Silvestre
Silvestre

The picture to the right is by IsraŽl Silvestre (1621 - 1691) and is from before 1665. It shows not just the church but also those three monuments that we have seen so far as well: The outdoor pulpit, P, octagonal tower, T, and the Croix de Gastines, C.

Silvestre's etching has been copied a number of times:

St. Innocents
Innocents-2 1809: St. Innocents
St. Innocents
Innocents-2 1838: St. Innocents
St. Innocents
Innocents-2 1499: St. Innocents
St. Innocents, 1550
Innocents-2 1552: St. Innocents, 1550
Innocents 1445
Innocents-2 1445: Innocents 1445
Etherington
Innocents-2 1552: Etherington
Tableau historique
Innocents-2 1552: Tableau historique

Stefano della Bella

St. Innocents church in the background.
Della Bella
The churchyard in the background.
Della Bella

The images to the left and right are by Stefano della Bella (1610 - 1664). Two of the scenes from his series "Cinq Morts" take place in St. Innocents' churchyard. Della Bella would presumably have been familiar with the cemetery since many publishers and printers had their shops in the arcades under the ossuaries.

The picture to the left shows St. Innocents' Church. At the right-hand side we can see both the Croix de Gastines, C, and the octagonal tower, T, (see detail picture).

On the picture to the right we can also see the Croix de Gastines and the Tour Notre Dame des Bois, but in the left part of the scene this time (see detail). The perspective is obviously not correct and I'm not sure what the building to the right is supposed to be. A guess would be the Chapelle de Villeroy, which was located at the opposite end of the of the cemetery compared to the church.

Along the entire background one can see a long row of arcades under the ossuaries. It was precisely at this place that La danse Macabre was painted.

Jakob Grimer
Innocents-2 1499: Jakob Grimer
Jakob Grimer
Innocents-2 1499: Jakob Grimer
Della Bella
Innocents-2 1650: Della Bella
Della Bella
Innocents-2 1650: Della Bella
Della Bella
Innocents-2 1650: Della Bella
Della Bella
Innocents-2 1650: Della Bella
Della Bella
Innocents-2 1650: Della Bella
Silvestre
Innocents-2 1499: Silvestre
St. Innocents
Innocents-2 1809: St. Innocents
St. Innocents
Innocents-2 1838: St. Innocents
St. Innocents
Innocents-2 1499: St. Innocents
St. Innocents, 1550
Innocents-2 1552: St. Innocents, 1550
Innocents 1445
Innocents-2 1445: Innocents 1445
Etherington
Innocents-2 1552: Etherington
Tableau historique
Innocents-2 1552: Tableau historique

Further information


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