Saturday, October 23, 2010

This Week's Art

The Holy Chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, Paris
I've been listening to a fastinating series on BBC Radio 4. It's called A History of the World in 100 Objects. The programme I've just heard was about the Holy Thorn Reliquary which you can see at the British Museum. It  (supposedly) houses one of the thorns from Christ's crucifixion crown. This crown was brought to Europe by Louis IX of France. Unlike other devout aristocrats of the time, this Medieval king actually paid for his precious relics of the Passion. Indeed, he handed over the pricely sum of 135,000 livres. In contrast, the Holy Chapel (see left) which he built to display the relics cost a mere 40,000 livres.


  1. I think this is the program that you have been talking about.

  2. P.S. Here you can listen to the previously recorded programs.

  3. Tis is the link I use:
    Each programme focuses on one object and lasts for about 15 minutes. It's quite amazing what you can learn in such a short space of time. I've just been listening to the one about a carving of two swimming reindeer from 13,000 years ago. It is perhaps one of the earliest examples of humans expressing themselves through art. Why do you think they felt (and we still feel) the need to do this?