Gargoyles and Grotesques

A gargoyle on the Basilique du Sacré Coeur in Paris, France. Photo by Robert R Gigliotti via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Gargoyles – the amusing, fantastical, and sometimes creepy little stone creatures that often inhabit the drain spouts of medieval churches – are among my favorite things. Together with their similar-looking but non-functional cousins, the grotesques, gargoyles have long been a source of popular fascination. This is likely because of their quirky appearances, as well as the fact that they have consistently defied any generally-accepted interpretation. As a college student, I remember being told that attempting to find a convincing explanation for gargoyles, where so many academics have already failed, would be a fool’s errand. Naturally, I’ve been obsessed with the topic ever since. One day, I plan to write a book about gargoyles and their history from the Middle Ages through the present day . In the meantime, enjoy some gargoyle-related content.

  • The Gargoyles category is where you can all of my gargoyle-themed posts. You’ll find everything here from the story of medieval oxen grotesques on Laon Cathedral to gargoyles in today’s popular culture.
  • Field Guide to Gargoyles is a five-part introduction for beginning and advanced gargoyle lovers alike.
  • Gargoyle of the Day showcases a selection of fabulous gargoyles and grotesques. It’s no longer a regular feature, but there’s still lots to enjoy.
  • The Gargoyle Appreciation Society is a photo album I’ve been compiling. It features readers’ photos of gargoyles and grotesques they have encountered in their own lives.
  • To learn about the medieval buildings on which many gargoyles live, as well as related art of the same era, try the Medieval Art and Architecture category.

Further Reading

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, I only recommend books that I have personally read and enjoyed.

Want to enjoy art more? Take an online course.

Leave a Reply