Gothic (and Gothic-style) abound in church architecture around the world. But what exactly are its characteristics? Learn the stylistic attributes and historical context of Gothic architecture, as well as how to distinguish it from Romanesque and Gothic Revival architecture.
It wouldn't be Halloween if I didn't write at least once about creepy creatures in art. (Did you really think I wasn't going to do it this year?) Well, HeadStuff just posted my article "Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art", in which I take a look at how imaginings of witches, vampires, demons, and… Continue reading Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art (HeadStuff)
This gargoyle on Reims Cathedral seems to have had a head transplant some time since the Middle Ages! The concept is actually not that unusual, since centuries of running water often erode functioning gargoyles over time. It's difficult to tell from this photo if the replacement was done in metal or a differently-colored stone. Either way, the end result… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Reims Cathedral, France
This grotesque is on the west portal of Chartres Cathedral - among the grandest and most famous of all French Gothic churches. While its close cousin in Paris is famous for its gargoyles, Chartres is celebrated for its beautiful stained glass and profuse sculptural decoration. Much of this sculptural work is clustered around its nine arched doors (portals);… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Chartres Cathedral, France
Today's grotesque is a true classic. The gargoyles of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris are neither the oldest nor the most interesting of their kind, but they have certainly become the most famous. The interior and exterior of this church, which was a major milestone in the history of Gothic architecture, were both rather creatively restored by Gothic Revival proponent… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Notre Dame de Paris
mouth puller grotesque Two weeks ago, I talked about the mouth puller grotesque and how common he can be in Gothic architecture. The grotesque above belongs to a related type - the thorn puller, who struggles to pull a thorn or some other painful irritant out of his foot. The thorn puller appears in many different… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Wells Cathedral, Somerset, UK
In 2012, Milan's Duomo came up with a pretty cool fundraising idea. In order to come up with the necessary funds to support restorations efforts, this massive Gothic cathedral decided to put its 135 gargoyles up for adoption. Donors could pick a gargoyle to contribute to, receiving a little name plaque underneath "their" gargoyle. This article on swide.com… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Duomo, Milan
The rooster is one of early Italian St. Vitus's attributes, so it's quite fitting that a rooster gargoyle can be found on his beautiful Gothic church in Prague. Some people think that this figure depicts an eagle. I disagree, but I can understand how one might come to that conclusion without knowing about the saint's association to the rooster.… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: St. Vitus, Prague
I've recently been reading a book about the history of British myths and legends concerning dragons, so it made sense to me that today's gargoyle should be from the United Kingdom. I was looking for some sort of dragon-like gargoyle but fell in love with this bagpipe-playing pig instead. Isn't he charming? I found him via ferrebeekeeper's blog; look there… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Melrose Abbey, Scotland
I've noticed that many of the quirkiest and most unique gargoyles that catch my eye are from England. This little man looks almost like he could be a cartoon character or a figure in an animated movie about the Middle Ages.