Gargoyle at Salisbury Cathedral. (commons.wickipedia.org)
Here’s another passage from Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, the pageant of Anne Boleyn’s investiture as Henry VIII’s queen:
And looking down on them, those other Londoners, those monsters who live in the air, the city’s uncounted population of stone men and women and beasts, and things that are neither human nor beasts, fanged rabbits and flying hares, four-legged birds and pinioned snakes, imps with bulging eyes and ducks’ bills, men who are wreathed in leaves or have the heads of goats or rams; creatures with knotted coils and leather wings, with hairy ears and cloven feet, horned and roaring, feathered and scaled, some laughing, some singing, some pulling back their lips to show their teeth; lions and friars, donkeys and geese, devils with children crammed into their maws, all chewed up except for their helpless piddling feet; limestone or leaden, metaled or marbled, shrieking and sniggering above the population, hooting and gurning and dry-heaving from buttresses, walls and roofs.
Why can we no longer even think of having such menageries entertaining us from above in our cities? Since when has mankind become so sterile that it cannot bring this to pass?
About David Brussat
This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred.
History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book.
My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally.
I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002.
I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato.
If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy, email@example.com, or call 401.351.0457.
Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I
would have written."
- Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architecture
, Art and design
, Books and Culture
and tagged architecture
, Hilary Mantel
, Wolf Hall
. Bookmark the permalink
I agree. I love this, and I would love to see more sculpture on buildings. Where is this?