Of Gargoyles, Griffins and other Graven Images

Barcelona, France, Poland, Scotland, Spain, Valencia

This week, Ann-Christine is urging us, in Lens-Artists Challenge #214 to indulge ourselves and our readers with Favourite Finds in our collections of photos. Well. Where to start? What to choose? I’ve settled on those things that we sometimes notice as we glance up above, or find ourselves gazing at, such as drainpipes or old walls in city streets: we’ll see everything from … well, let’s have a look …

Click on the image to discover where to find it.

The featured image is from the Millennium Clock in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

80 thoughts on “Of Gargoyles, Griffins and other Graven Images

      1. Grotesques, not really, but I rather like the frogs, and the face in Valencia. I must get to that city. I saw an interesting article about rail travel in Spain and was thinking more in terms of Madrid and Toledo, but we’ll see. I’m not focusing well at present. 🤔💗

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      2. Sorry you’re not doing so well, Jo. But when you’re up to it, Valencia has much to offer, and not being such a mecca as say Barcelona and Madrid, far less crowded.

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    1. That fourth one is a bit strange, isn’t it? Just set into a house wall in an old street. And the other one is curious too, forming part of a house built specially for one of the Great and the Good in town.

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      1. Margaret – you always give me something too think about. After I read your post, I went on a mini exploration into the stories of Gargoyles etc. I did find a story when I read a brilliant article from The Met. Here’s the story:

        “According to legend, Saint Romain—the bishop of Rouen in the 7th century—saved townspeople from the terror of a fire-breathing beast named La Gargouille. Though the monster was captured by Romain and burned at the stake, its head and neck mysteriously remained intact. Romain decided to nail the creature’s severed head to the church, where it served as a waterspout—and a terrifying trophy—for years to come.” https://mymodernmet.com/what-is-a-gargoyle/

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  1. These are wonderful and prove it’s always worth looking up! I especially like the frogs and the cat with a ball. The Valencia one reminds me of the Neptune fountain in Bologna!

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      1. Yes, absolutely! One thing I love about being a keen photographer is that it often encourages me to look around in places I might not otherwise look, in the search for photos, and to notice things I might not otherwise notice 🙂

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  2. A wonderful response this week Margaret – what a clever idea! I too have some bizarre images of gargoyles, they’re so fun – if weird and often gruesome LOL. One wonders who had the firsts idea about including them and how it became such a common thing for so long! Loved all of your images but especially the donkey

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    1. That donkey is a bit bizarre, isn’t he? As are all the modern gargoyles included on this church. See Rebecca Budd’s comment for the True Story of the Gargoyle 😉

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  3. Looking up and down are what I like to do, you just never know what you might see and I am a big fan of gargoyles and medieval carvings. The figure clasping her breasts is a bit out there – I suspect one of those carvings aimed at making the congregation feel guilty if they have sinned. Not so keen on the donkey (?) looks like something out of a Disney film.

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    1. Those modern gargoyles are a bit Disneyesque, some of them – though not all. They’ll be better when a bit weathered, I think. But it’s all in a long tradition.

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  4. Fabulous selection. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was very much in an early medieval phase and if she’d been a boy she would have been called Griffin. As it is she’s just relieved that her father overruled my girl choice of Cuthburga.

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  5. Oh, I just love these monsters…gargoyles are my best friends…No, but I do love them, and you have found some very interesting ones. There are lots of them in Gdansk and I remember photographing them in Notre Dame – I wonder if they are still there? What creeped me out was the “thing” in that little window. I hope I’m not getting nightmares about it.

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    1. I agree about the ‘thing’. Not sure I’d like him on my house, though he might scare off intruders. And Gdansk is great for gargoyle watching!

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