St. Nicholas Altar (Bardejov)

I made a weekend comics pilgrimmage to Bardejov, where the Minor Basilika houses over a dozen medieval altars, a.k.a., gigantic carved and painted religious COMICS!

Don´t worry, the basilika tower isn´t leaning… it just looks that way because I was drawing while perched on the old town wall with my sketchbook on my knee in the cold as the sun went down.  (Excuses, excuses…)

Inside the basilika is a truly amazing space, so high and light and (most importantly for my purposes) CHOCK-A-BLOCK FULL of ANCIENT COMICS. Here is a quick sketch of the sanctuary:

(I realized afterwards that I made a mistake here… the broken-legged thieves are crucified on T-shaped crosses, not true crucifixes.)
It never ceases to amaze me how FANATICAL the medieval church was about telling stories with picture sequences. I spent most of my hours here drawing from the 15th century Nativity altar, visible in the lower left of the above sketch. Images will be forthcoming, but in the meantime I will tempt you with this schematic of the altar to Panna Maria, St. Erasmus, and St. Nicholas:

Yea, verily, some things are better left undrawn.

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2 thoughts on “St. Nicholas Altar (Bardejov)

  1. For some strange reason I looked up St Erasmus who turns out to be St Elmo! And what they did to him was amazing in a horrifying way. It made Sv. Apolónia’s torture look like a picnic. Those early believers went through so much for their beliefs. Can’t wait to see the panels completed.

    • There you go, Simon — you get bonus points just for doing your homework! Now try breaking St. E´s life down into some convenient number of steps (my 6-panels-per-page X 4 page format uses (COMPUTE COMPUTE beep beep boop!) 24 steps)… then write or draw (or collage or paint or whatever) something quintessential for each of those steps, and you´ve got yourself a comic.
      Or an altar.
      Beauty and horror… that is the medieval experience, is it not? https://marekslovakia.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/sturak-b/
      In the Coincidence Department, my hall in the immense Bratislava Dorm System was the Erasmus hallway.
      If you are looking for more tasks, Sv. Dorota (St. Dorothy) still needs a comic about her…

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