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Friday, December 26, 2014

Grotesque

In my freshman year of college, I was an art major for one quarter before I realized that I wasn’t so much an art major as I was a non-artist. 



Cologne Cathedral in Germany

I did take one course that included architectural sketching. I really liked the class but, being the thinker that I am, I changed my major from Art to Psychology. 



Forbidden City in Beijing, China

Thus I successfully side-stepped the potentially lucrative career as an architect, in favor of a major that qualified me to stock goods in a retail store. 



St. Nicholas Church in Germany

Had I known that Gargoyle design was an option, I may have stuck it out.



University of Sydney – Sydney, Australia


Utilizing internet connection, opposable thumbs and Google (the receptacle of all knowledge), well . . . you my friend are in for an architectural treat!



Nidaros Cathedral – Trondheim, Norway


Prior to the inception of Home Depot, moving water off the roof had to happen without polycarbonate rain gutters. 


Cologne Cathedral in Germany

Some water spouts were a little nastier than others. 


Freiburg Minister in Germany 

Stone-carved figures are called grotesques. If they include a water-moving conduit, then they are gargoyles. (Who knew such a thing? Not me.) 


Ch√Ęteau d’Amboise in France


The populous at the time of Gothic architecture noticed that buildings with grotesques kept the dwellers safe from the evil eye. Buildings without grotesques probably also prevented the evil eye, but that wasn’t as noticeable. 



Plummer Building in Rochester, Minnesota


Grotesque carving became a valuable skill.


Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France


Since Gothic buildings are pretty old, falling gargoyles became a hazard. 



Winchester Cathedral in England

Faced with the options of replacing them with period reproductions or something a bit cheeky . . . well,  there was some tomfoolery. 




Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C.


New architecture also got in on the shenanigans.


The Washington National Cathedral, in Washington D.C., held a contest for grotesque suggestions. The winner was Darth Vader. 


The Crooked Politician 
on Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C.  


The High Tech Pair  
on Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C.  


The Pacifist and his Gas Mask  
on Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C.  


The Genderizer Robot 
on Bethlehem Chapel in France 


Gizmo on Bethlehem Chapel in France


Alien on Bethlehem Chapel in France


Robert Runcie, 
the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1980 to 1991, 
on St. Albans Cathedral in England 


The Astronaut 
on the Salamanca Cathedral in Spain  


Rude Punk on 
Cirencester Parish Church in England

So do you want to take a Grotesque tour? I do! 


San Juan de los Reyes Monastery in Spain 



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