Chapelle Saint-Yves - Art Deco Mosaique Odorico
OTBSB
A gift for the eyes

An Art Deco chapel in Saint-Brieuc

Saint-Brieuc is home to many architectural and historic treasures created in the Art Deco style. Beyond the city centre, take a visit to the chapel of the Maison Saint-Yves – a colourful gem adorned with mosaics and frescoes.

Orgue de la Chapelle Saint Yves
Trehorel Guenole

Movements and ornaments

An Art Deco monument to be discovered

Located in a discreet district on the heights of the Gouédic valley, near a bridge – the work of Harel de la Noë. The Maison Saint-Yves – a place of religious life – is open to all, and in particular to lovers of cultural heritage and art history. On Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the holidays, tours are offered by volunteers passionate about the treasures of the Maison Saint-Yves. The cloister separates the various spaces and functions. Built in 1927, this site borrows from the codes of this period, with concrete offering a clean and modern appearance, right up to the bell tower. In its centre, you’ll find a graphic and sober landscaped garden, incorporating religious symbolism.

The library, spanning an entire wing, stores ancient works – some dating from the 17th century. A colossal fresco by a member of the Seiz Breur, Xavier de Langlais, depicts the arrival of the monk Brieuc here in the Bay in the 6th century – as the legend goes. This Seiz Breur movement marked a change in Breton ornaments. The colours used are a beautiful introduction to the chapel, which can be seen behind the stones of one of the wings.

 

Discover the Saint-Yves chapel

A strong impression

Colour scheme in the Saint-Yves chapel

Light filters through the stained glass windows. The Saint-Yves chapel is unique. From the narthex, we see mosaics created by Odorico, an Italian whose work can be found across Rennes. The altars and flooring are made up of thousands of coloured tesserae – gilded or in black and white, reminiscent of the Gwen Ha Du, the flag of Brittany.

Arabesques throw themselves towards the wrought iron gates, walls and aisles of the nave: together with flowers and triskells, another emblem of Brittany. These contrast with other, more graphic shapes. The frescoes are painted onto the mortar itself, giving a particular density to the colours: a palette developed around ochre and saffron, underlined by greens.

This is an abstract representation: there are no human figures, evoked instead by the attributes of the apostles in the choir. To better take in this Art Deco decor, you are invited to sit on the wooden pews, onto which artichokes are carved. Under the chapel, dating back to 1927, we find the crypt – the back alcove of which features a scene painted by Seiz Breur Xavier de Langlais: the original sin and the presentation of Mary in the temple ... Beyond the subject, the chart of patterns and colours on offer at the Saint-Yves chapel is striking.

Elodie Le Bars
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