Photographer Paul Koudounaris has made a name for himself by photographing the mysterious dead: mummies, skeletons, ossuaries.
The enchanting subject of his recent project Heavenly Bodies are the never-before photographed relics of Europe’s Catholic churches, said to be the bones of Christian martyrs. These remains were taken from underground tombs and enthroned as objects of worship.
The opulent adornments that surround the remains (i.e. wigs, gemstones, gold lace) reflect the decadence of the late Middle Ages, when churches ornamentation became more elaborate and extravagant.