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.

Published by Marek

Cartoonist, musician, teacher.

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.

    1. 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?
      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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