November 23, 2009 in Culture, Other artists, Travel by Marja-Leena
I love the dude holding his head!
Dave, I like that one too, glad you spotted him! I also like, in the second photo, the little guys underneath the ledges, some peering upwards cheekily. I should have blown up a larger detail of it….
He must have been an ale-drinker ~ makes you lose your head sometimes.
But seriously, repetition is anything but boring when an artist is on a roll, eh!
Heh. I noticed the guy holding his head, too. It’s the break in the repetition that makes him stand out so much!
I’ve heard that the main purpose of ecclesiastic art was to instruct the mostly illiterate populace. They’re more likely to return if you provide some amusement – something we continue to see.
R, hee! Makes me also wonder how many artists created these hundreds of statues, and did they get bored? I imagine they had lots of helpers in their guilds, but still…
Leslee, good point, especially when there are so many.
Susan, that does make sense. Humour always helps in learning… I’m not up on all the biblical figures and especially the many saints in the Catholic church, but that’s what I’m thinking most of these figures represent.
Those are some photographs. I’m really impressed.
Here is Rick Steves’ Guide to Paris on St. Denis:
“When Christianity began making converts in Roman Paris, (St. Denis) was beheaded as a warning to those forsaking the Roman gods. But those early Christians were hard to keep down. St. Denis got up, tucked his head under his arm, headed north, paused at a fountain to wash it off, and continued until he found just the right place to meet his maker.”
Hattie, thanks go to my husband for these photos, I should have mentioned! I merely adjusted levels, cropped one or two and posted. And thank you for the info on St. Denis, somehow I thought you’d have the answer! I think you wrote a few details from Steves’ book on your own posts on your recent Europe trip.
Yes, the Steves guides really enhanced our European experience.
Hard to know how to look at this stuff; your two sets of photos seem to propose two different approaches: see it as pattern and impression, or slowly pick over detail. Photography helps, I think. When I last visited ND I wasn’t taking photos, I enjoyed the impression, but recall little of it and couldn’t take in any detail. Visiting Chartres with the camera, I looked ina different way, and also was able to review it more meaningfully. Yes, I read up about it more, but that made more sense with a more trained way of looking and recording.
I don’t know if I’m making a lot of sense here. But I love old St Denis nonchalant way with his head!
Lucy, I agree that it’s hard to see it all when there is so much, even if you aren’t taking the photos. I do love looking at them in detail later and seeing things I may have missed, like St Denis! But taking photos with a certain focus of mind is great too, it worked for me on Hornby more than Europe.
© Marja-Leena Rathje 2004-2015