Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Some more thoughts on the grotesque carvings on Romanesque churches. It was one of these that inspired the Batman book I drew a while back. Specifically a photo of a corbel decoration which looked like the following (from Irnham in Lincolnshire, England), allowing for the fact I enlarged the ears ever so slightly and changed the lighting somewhat to put DC off the track that I was basing it on somebody else's photo (they go into a terrible panic if they find out that you've referenced something from the real world.) But I swear that the original looked like Batman.

These things are from jaround nine hundred years ago, but they occasionally have a cartoon sensiblity that looks remarkably recent.

The above is from Wikipedia and taken by Simon Garbutt with a much better ability and camera than mine at the exquisite Romanesque church of Saint Mary and Saint David in Kilpeck, Herefordshire."It shows one of the well-preserved carved corbels supporting the roof, depicting a hound and a hare, in a delightful style of cartoon-like simplicity. Carved during the mid 12th century AD (late Norman period) by an unknown sculptor of the 'Herefordshire School'". (and a salute to Mr Garbutt for allowing his photos to be shown as I'm doing here in the interests of sharing this kind of knowledge.) The Wikipedia entry for Kilpeck Church has another of his photos, of a hag displaying her vulva, known in studies of the subject as a Sheela-na-gig.
Peter Evans has made a more thorough study of the site with sixteen photos of other corbels.

also of interest

Satan in the groin, a slide show with over a hundred images of lust and folly on old churches.

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Blogger drjon said...

"It shows one of the well-preserved carved corbels supporting the roof, depicting a hound and a hare..."

That's Sam and Max!

5 March 2008 at 20:14:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Eddie,

I see your blog's back and in full swing! I hope Anne's coping? (Hi Anne!)

Re:grotesques etc, have you been to the Great Court at Qld Uni's St Lucia campus? There are a number of carvings atop the sandstone pillars there, mainly relating to the pursuit of study of course. Not exactly ancient, or even rude for that matter, but interesting none the less.


6 March 2008 at 17:01:00 GMT-5  

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