Sunday, November 18, 2007

Gargoyles and Demons and Chimeras



Oh My.

This is the first of what I hope will be a number of photosto be shared here that I took at the Cloisters in Manhattan. My friend Rosanna and I went on a blustery autumn day at the end of October (despite there being very little evidence of autumn since the trees had not begun to change color) and both of captured many images, inside and out.

There were some amazing carved gargoyles and other figures on the columns surrounding the cafe. Devils and horned figures seemed to be a popular theme. I did not copy down theexcat information on most of these figures but they are mainly 15th and 16th century, I believe, from various countries (France, Germany, Italy). The Cloisters is a wonderland of history, beauty and sublime, quiet artistry. And they have the best museum gift shop I have ever seen. Probably my favorite feature is the medieval herb garden, where we also took many photos. The espaliered pear trees are impressive.

Many visitors did not seem to realize the quince trees were quince trees! I heard a lot of people call them apples or pears. I purloined several fallen ones from the ground and gave them to Rosanna to keep in a bowl in her apartment. They ripen and mellow and scent the room with a sweet, fruity fragrance of autumn for weeks.

2 comments :

Mark Coyle said...

I am in Manhattan this week and agree entirely. The combination of season, architecture and symbology often on easy display is evocative. Near where I am at Central park west I saw Neptune with two serpents carved into the rails of an apartment block today.

Peg said...

I recently saw that the Endicott Studios blog is asking readers to send in photos of examples of "living myth and folklore"; that certainly seems like an apt example!

Enjoy New York; I find it very magical this time of year. If you can, check out Central Park and the light displays at Tavern on the Green at dusk/dark...