Welcome to the fifth and final installment of A Beginner's Field Guide to Gargoyles! By the end of this post, you'll be well prepared to study any gargoyle you encounter in the wild! What is their significance? No one is really sure why gargoyles exist or look the way they do. That mystery is… Continue reading A Beginner’s Field Guide to Gargoyles, Part Five: What Is Their Significance?
Welcome back to A Beginner's Field Guide to Gargoyles. Here, you'll find everything you've ever wanted to know about gargoyles and grotesques. To recap, part one defined gargoyles and grotesques, part two talked about where gargoyles originated, and part three explained where to look for them. To be a successful gargoyle hunter, however, you need one… Continue reading A Beginner’s Field Guide to Gargoyles, Part Four: What do they look like?
Welcome back to A Beginner's Field Guide to Gargoyles, your prime source for essential gargoyle information. In case you missed them, check out parts one and two. Now that we know what gargoyles are and where they came from, let's go gargoyle hunting! Where Can You Find Gargoyles? To find an authentic medieval gargoyle or… Continue reading A Beginner’s Field Guide to Gargoyles, Part Three: Where Can You Find Them?
Welcome back to A Beginner's Field Guide to Gargoyles, your answer for common questions about gargoyles and grotesques. Last time, we identified what a gargoyle is and how it differs from a grotesque. Now, let's talk about the gargoyle origin story. Where and when do gargoyles come from? It's difficult to pinpoint when or where the very first gargoyle appeared,… Continue reading A Beginner’s Field Guide to Gargoyles, Part Two: Where and When Did Gargoyles Come From?
I love gargoyles, and I know a lot of other people do too. Talking to gargoyle enthusiasts, I've come to realize that the origins, terminology, and interpretation of gargoyles can be confusing, and there's not a lot of good information out there. In an effort to encourage greater appreciation of these quirky little creatures, I’ve decided to spend a few posts… Continue reading A Beginner’s Field Guide to Gargoyles, Part One: What is a Gargoyle, Anyway?
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
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 churches and may… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Wells Cathedral, Somerset, UK
Most of the time, gargoyles perform their function as gutters by sticking out from the side of a building and diverting water horizontally. This gargoyle on the 12th-century Chateau de Pierrefonds in France has a different approach. He sends water downward as his long body slithers down the castle wall. I'm not sure if he is an alligator, crocodile, enormous… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Chateau de Pierrefonds, Oise, France
Today is the last installment of 31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts. I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing and reading about all these beautiful books over the past month! I will miss constantly living in the world of medieval manuscripts, but I'm also really looking forward to having time to read and sleep and things like… Continue reading The Office of the Dead – Day Thirty-One of Medieval Manuscripts