Reliquary of St Taurin - Evreux
Made between 1240-1255 by a Paris goldsmith, to hold the relics of St Taurin, this shrine was commissioned by the abbot Gislebert de Saint-Martin. The reliquary weighs 82kg and is made of bronze silver and gold leaf over a wooden chest.1 The reliquary was stolen during the wars of religion in the 16th century and the jewels removed before it was recovered.
St Taurin arriving in Evreux, where he was confronted by three beasts representing the pagan religions of Rome, Diane, and the agrarian religion of the locality. A panel in the 15th century stained glass windows in the apse copies this particular scene.
The central image of this side of the reliquary shows St Taurin dressed as the bishop of Evreux. His enthronement as the bishop is also recorded in the apse 15th century stained glass.
The final panel on this side of the reliquary shows St Taurin exorcising the inhabitants of Evreux, two little demons can be seen floating above the crowd.
An anachronism in the legend of St Taurin, which is also recorded in the apse stained glass, says that he was held by St Denis whilst being baptised by Pope Clement I.
This panel shows St Taurin baptising the people in the river Iton, a tributary of the river Eure, that runs through Evreux.
The central figure of this side of the reliquary is that of a deacon companion of St Taurin.
Part of the legend of St Taurin is that he brought back to life Euphrasie who had been thrown into a fire by the devil. On being restored to life there were no marks of her being burned. A 15th century stained glass panel in the apse also depicts this.
Finally, the side of the reliquary contains an image of Christ in Majesty.
- 1. French cultural heritage and Naval History http://www.patrimoine-histoire.fr/Patrimoine/Evreux/Evreux-Saint-Taurin.htm