The History of the Gargoyle: Architectural Significance to Ornamental Choice

1026 WordsMay 15, 20135 Pages
The History of the Gargoyle: Architectural significance to Ornamental choice Introduction This research paper is based on a combination of architecture and sculpture, precisely the gargoyle. The inspiration for topic was grasped from a past production paper question which requested that one create a gargoyle spout inspired by a Caribbean cultural aspect. This question deeply intrigued me, providing themes for both a sculpture piece and my research paper. This paper is seeks to present the transition from which the gargoyle progressed from an architectural figure of meaning and significance into sculpture with more decorative attributes which lost some of its initial importance. History of the Gargoyle The term gargoyle is most often…show more content…
As time progressed, more stone ones appeared as did lining some with lead and decoration in the form of carvings of people or animals or grotesque representations. Such gargoyles are common the more expensive buildings from medieval times, particularly cathedrals and churches, and particularly France, and particularly the Gothic style. A few plain ones survive on non-religious buildings like the odd castle but rarely compared with religious buildings. Figure [ 2 ]- Notre Dame in Paris, France (church) In contemporary architecture this increasingly ornate carving extended to non-functional architectural features resembling them, so that "gargoyles" appear on the sides of towers and walls, and to stretch the term even further, inside the buildings as grotesques and chimeras. Decorative and non-functional relevance A grotesque figure is a sculpture that does not work as a waterspout and serves only an ornamental or artistic function. These are also usually called gargoyles in layman's terminology, although the field of architecture usually preserves the Figure [ 3 ]- Grotesques distinction between gargoyles (functional waterspouts) and non-waterspout grotesques. Figure [ 4 ]- Chimera Grotesques are often confused with gargoyles, but the distinction is that gargoyles are figures that contain a water spout

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