Thursday, January 15, 2009


More animals this week, but of a different sort. Do you know what distinguishes gargoyles from chimera? In Greek mythology, Chimera was a fire-breathing female monster with a lion's head and a goat's body and a serpent's tail. But architecturally-speaking, a chimera is a fantastic, mythical, or grotesque figure used for decorative purposes. Gargoyles, technically, are carvings which serve as water spouts on buildings. (I heard that the word comes from "gargouille," meaning throat, so I suppose they are the throats of the building?) People commonly refer to non-water spouts as "gargoyles," though.

So this week, we have chimera/gargoyles. (Chimera are also sometimes called "grotesques," but it feels funny to call them that...)

An icy gargoyle in Prague (St. Vitus Cathedral)
taken by Mat and Trace Ward

In Valencia, Spain

A lion in Florence, Italy

from the University of Chicago gate

~ Notre Dame has some of the world's most famous gargoyles. New York Carver has a very attractive page about them.
~ A gargoyle tour of Princeton University.
~ One way to make a clay gargoyle is posted here.
~ Here's another description of how to make one from Art Attack.
~ Archives from a Gargoyle art contest for fans of the cartoon show, Gargoyles.
~ A gargoyle P.E. lesson plan.
~ Darth Vader gargoyle


One more thing...AbeBooks has put together a page about unusual book covers. Not the pictures on the cover themselves, necessarily, but what the covers are made of...such as burlap or python skin. (Note to self: I should have a "book cover" theme some week.)

1 comment:

Bungie Time said...

wow! im doing a research project on dragons and this was exactly what i was looking for!!! thanks!