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MOBILE TOUR GUIDE

THE MOSAICS

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The floor and a large part of the walls are covered with marble mosaics in combination with marble slab facings.

This marble comes mainly from Marquise in Boulonnais, 15 km from Wirwignes, but we know through purchase invoices from marble dealers in Boulogne that the abbot obtained marbles from other origins.

The proximity of the quarries allowed Father Lecoutre to obtain marble of different colors and qualities, which he cut and assembled.

 

These mosaics use the so-called “opus sectile” technique, which nowadays is more commonly called marble marquetry. It is a technique which consists of assembling cut marble slabs to create figurative or geometric decorations.

Opus sectile is considered one of the most refined and prestigious marble decoration techniques, both for the materials used (among the rarest and therefore the most expensive marbles) and for the difficulty of production. , because it is necessary to dissect the marble into very thin sheets to shape it with great precision and use the most diverse qualities of the marble, in order to obtain the desired chromatic effects.

It was widely used in Roman antiquity, in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance, particularly in Baroque decorations in Italy. But very few in the 19th century.

 

We can notably admire a floral carpet in front of the main altar, another in front of the altar of La Chapelle Saint-Quentin and a labyrinth around the 7th station of the Stations of the Cross which reproduces the motif of the labyrinth which existed in the abbey church of Saint-Bertin de Saint-Omer destroyed during the Revolution.

Note that Marquise marble was also used for the Élysée Palace and the Gare Montparnasse in Paris.

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