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.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, I only recommend books that I have personally read and enjoyed.
- Benton, Janetta Rebold. Holy Terrors: Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings. New York, London, Paris: Abbeville Press, 1997.
- Benton, Janetta Rebold. Medieval Mischief: Wit and Humor in the Art of the Middle Ages. London: Sutton Publishing, Limited, 2005.
- Camille, Michael. Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. Especially chapter 3 – “In the Margins of the Cathedral”.
- Camille, Michael. The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame: Medievalism and the Monsters of Modernity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.
- Gargoyle historian Dolores Herrera’s website.