‘Jewel Encrusted Skeleton ‘Saints’ Make Headlines Round the World’

Paul Koudounaris, who’s also called by his nickname ‘Indiana Bones’ is an author, photographer and top expert on bone-decorated sites and ossuarys. Earlier this year, Koudounaris released a book that includes hd imagery of that 400-year-old ‘catacomb saints’ of Rome, a group of corpses that had been carefully decked with ornaments and finery ahead of being presented as remains of saints to congregations across Europe.

During the Protestant Reorganization of the 16th Century, Catholic church buildings were routinely stripped of their relics, symbols and finery. So they can counter this, The Vatican had antique skeletons removed out of the Catacombs of Rome and generously adorned as the remnants of acknowledged saints.

Even though regularly forgotten until Koudounaris published his book, the catacomb saints continue to fascinate interested parties; they can also still encourage religious zeal. In 1977, the settlement of Ruttenbach in Bavaria labored hard to gain enough funds to buy back 2 of the primary saints from undisclosed collectors, the ornamental skeletons had initially been auctioned off in 1803.

The book, that Koudounaris has slyly titled ‘Heavenly Bodies’ sees its writer attempt to locate and photograph each of the surviving tomb saints.

In his prime (a age that lasted over 200 years before finally coming to a close in the nineteenth century), the saints traversed all over the place, being transported at enormous expense by the Church. They were recognized as objects of care, or conduits for prayer.

Although the saints may seem odd to modern eyes (one Telegraph reporter described them as ‘ghastly’), it’s crucial that you understand that those that prayed at the feet of the gilded cadavers were a lot nearer to demise than their contemporary counterparts. While in the wake of The Black Death (which recurred frequently throughout Europe from the 14th to the 17th Centuries), art, literature and even worship had come to accept such ghoulish, macabre images.

The remains were usually garlanded by nuns and sometimes positioned in a range of lifelike poses, before being protected in glass cabinets. Some of our meticulous decoration took as long as five years to finish, with jewellery and costumes being particularly impressive.

Koudounaris’ book, ‘Heavenly Bodies’ is available now.

the origin of the piece is here

Write a comment

Comments: 0