Sometimes, I know in advance what I want to feature on Gargoyle of the Day; other times, I simply browse until something strikes my fancy. I might be inspired by an image I come across, or an idea might pique my interest, in which case I look for the most dynamic gargoyles in that category. Today, I saw the words “Gargoyles of Cyprus” and knew I’d found a winner.
I’ve recently become interested in regional styles and trends among gargoyles and grotesques. I’ve chosen to feature two gargoyles from the Cypriot capitol of Nicosia because I’m intrigued by the aesthetic that the two share, which is very distinct from that of European Gothic gargoyles. Their shapes are more simplified and contain less anatomical detail than most of their Euro-American counterparts. This might be mistaken for greater age, but the Panagia Phaneromeni Church (top image) was only built in the second half of the nineteenth century. Additionally, these gargoyles appear on Orthodox rather than Catholic or Protestant churches, which is a distinction I hadn’t previously thought about but is certainly worth further exploration. I definitely see the eastern European influence in the depictions of their faces.