[SWITZERLAND]. [VALAIS]. [RAROGNE (Raron)].... - Lot 9 - Binoche et Giquello

Lot 9
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Estimation :
8000 - 10000 EUR
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Result : 9 100EUR
[SWITZERLAND]. [VALAIS]. [RAROGNE (Raron)].... - Lot 9 - Binoche et Giquello


Leaf extracted from a confraternity or devotional book related to the Church of Saint-Romain in Raron

In Latin, parchment leaf with illumination and handwritten text on the back in gothic letters

Switzerland, Raron (Valais), text dated 15 August 1526.

Representation of a nimbed and tonsured saint with a knife as a symbol (Saint Bartholomew ?), in a style close to the Valaisan artists of the 16th century.

Dimensions: 475 x 328 mm. Fold in the middle of the leaf, a leaf that may have served as a cover for a register. Inscriptions added on the back, cursive writing (17th century?) liturgical notes with references to pages of a manuscript, a book?

Very large and interesting miniature featuring a full-length saint, the coat of arms of the town of Raron (a wine-growing town) and a text on the back citing the notables of the Valais town. This atypical large format is reminiscent of the frescoes that adorn the churches of the Valais and the paintings in the diocese of Sion.

Located on the right bank of the Rhone Valley, the town of Raron (in German "Raron") is recognizable from afar thanks to a group of buildings forming a castle and standing on the rocky ridge that falls steeply towards the village. In 1494, the town of Raron was flooded by the Bietsh stream, which partially buried the village and especially the church, which was then located at the bottom of the village. In 1508, as the village no longer had a place of worship, Schiner, Bishop of Sion, had a new church built - this time on top of the ruins of the old medieval castle (see W. Ruppen, "Die Kirche St. Roman auf der Burg" in Raron, Burg und Kirche, Basel 1972). The work was entrusted to the architect Ulrich Ruffiner between 1510 and 1517. The Valais painter Hans Rinischer (died around 1530) was commissioned to paint a large fresco of the "Last Judgement", which was completed around 1518, i.e. only a few years before the inscription on the back of this leaflet. Hans Rinischer is known to have painted a number of frescoes for other churches in the Valais: for example, the frescoes in the church of Notre-Dame des Marais (Sierre) and a full-length portrait of St. Theodule (circa 1525, signed by the artist, Swiss National Museum, Zürich, LM 11646) (on artists in the Valais in the 16th century, see F. Elsig, "The Last Judgement", p. 7), see F. Elsig, "La peinture dans le diocèse de Sion (1430-1530)", in Zeitschrift für schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte (2000), 57, pp. 131-140).


On the front, a full-length portrait of a tonsured and nimbed saint holding a symbol, probably that of his martyrdom. The knife is the symbol of the martyrdom of a certain number of saints (according to L. Réau, Iconographie de l'art chrétien, tome III: Bartholomew, Lucius of Chur (apostle of the Grisons), James the Intercis, Herculane of Perugia). For the time being, we retain Saint Bartholomew, who was flayed alive and is most often represented with a knife in his hand. There is no reference to Saint Bartholomew in the text on the back of the sheet, but this image could correspond to a text that was placed opposite and has now disappeared. The saint is shown here in monastic robes, with a blue collar around his neck. His other hand shows a coat of arms that can be blazoned as follows: "Gules a vine eradicated, slipped Or and leaved Vert and fructed of two clusters". These coats of arms are those of the town of Raron, and it seems that the saint depicted was the object of a local cult in the town or in the church of Saint-Romain, which may have had a chapel in honour of the saint. Vines and wine play a central role in the Valais.


On the reverse is the following text written in Gothic ink: Suasii vigilantissimi [...] domini Petri Herten atque commissione prudentium virorum Stephani Maxen notarie Arnoldi Kalbermatter edilium impensisque totius communitatis ecclesie et partim noviter compositum est presens opus deo opitulante ad usum Sedunensem per me Joannem Kelber presbiterum [....] vespre anno virginalis partus millesimo quingentesimo vigesimo sexto [1526] die vero duodecima mensis augusti.

Among the names mentioned in the transcribed text, we find some public or ecclesiastical characters such as Peter Herten, present in the archives and said to be "canon of Sion". Also mentioned: Stephan Maxen (1479/80-1534), from the important Maxen family, was bailiff of Raron: he was a notary in Raron, and a faithful supporter of Cardinal Matthew Schiner. Another person mentioned is Arnold de Kalbermatten (or Kalbermatter) (born around 1450/1460-1537), Grand Bailiff of Raron in 1512, nephew of Grand Bailiff Nicolas de Kalbermatten. In the church of Raron, on the north wall, one can see a fresco dating from 1512: four sai

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