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.
Technically, these little fellows are grotesques rather than true gargoyles, but who cares when they're so charming? Apes, monkeys, and related creatures had rather poor connotations in the Middle Ages, symbolizing a variety of evils and sins including greed and lust, but this pair is depicted with a touching humanity nonetheless.
Today’s prompt didn’t particularly interest me or feel like a good fit for this blog, but the additional challenge was to write in a style different from my usual one, which I liked a lot. I like my writing to flow and include lots of description; I never skimp on the words. Therefore, I decided… Continue reading Basilique Royale de Saint-Denis (WordPress Writing 101 Prompt #17)
This gargoyle is so strange! From the differences in the stone, I assume that the creepy head is a later alteration or restoration, but I'm still not sure what the figure is supposed to represent. The words "crazed donkey" come to mind, however.