Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Good night tweeters. No bad dreams...

Good night tweeters. No bad dreams......


Every night for the last few years, over on our Twitter page, 
we've developed a habit of sharing a slightly scary, slightly grotesque, 
yet ultimately humorous, picture, with the legend:

"Good night tweeters. No bad dreams....."

Here's a small selection of some of our favourites.......

Gargoyle/Grotesque York Minster
Grotesque: York Minster

There are some wonderful examples of scary and humourous gargoyles and grotesques on, and in, York Minster. We make no apologies for an over-abundance of pictures from York. It is, after all, the home of Justbod.
 

Grotesque York
Grotesque York - think it is York Magistrates Court Building

Gargoyle or grotesque?

Gargoyles and grotesques are very similar, as they are both carvings or paintings of fantastical creatures used for protection to ward off evil, harmful, or unwanted spirits and to protect buildings, homes, churches, cathedrals.

The difference between the two is a functional one, and an easy way to remember the difference is the phrase: 'Gargoyles gargle' - in other words, when the grotesque is fashioned as a water spout, to drain rainwater from the building, it is called a gargoyle. When it is simply a decorative carving of a creature, or a painting, they are called a grotesque.

The word Gargoyle is derived from the Old French word 'gargouille' (throat,) also related to the Greek word 'gargarizien' (to gargle.)

The Oxford Dictionary gives the meaning of grotesque as an adjective as: 'comically or repulsively ugly or distorted.' As a noun: 'A very ugly or comically distorted figure or image' or 'a style of decorative painting or sculpture consisting of the interweaving of human or animal forms with foliage.'

It's origin is from the Old French 'crotesque,' from Italian 'grottoesca' from 'opera or pittura  grottesca:' work or painting resembling that found in a grotto - probably from ancient excavated buildings in Rome that contained murals in the grotesque style.

Sometimes carvings can become 'grotesques' and a bit scary from interesting weathering effects....


Carving St Martin le Grand, York
Carved 'headstop' St Martin le Grand, York


And sometimes it makes something that is already spooky, even more so......
 

Gargoyle York Minster
Gargoyle York Minster


Gargoyle York Minster
Gargoyle York Minster


I also love how little, modern additions, can add that extra wee finishing touch:

Grotesque St Martin le Grand York
Grotesque 'headstop' St Martin le Grand York

Modern stone masons adding their own particular twists to the gargoyle/grotesque story:

Gargoyle, St Michael, Coxwold, Yorkshire
Gargoyle, St Michael, Coxwold, Yorkshire

Of course, we don't just feature gargoyles and grotesques in our Good night tweets.....

Scary sheep, winter above Malham Cove, Yorkshire
Scary sheep, winter above Malham Cove, Yorkshire
Tree carving, The Forbidden Corner, Middleham, Yorkshire
Tree carving, The Forbidden Corner, Middleham, Yorkshire

And we also use other images that have whole stories attached to them......


The boulder throwers York Monkbar
The boulder throwers York Monkbar



Stone Carving from octagonal stone bench, Dean's Park, York
Stone Carving from octagonal stone bench, Dean's Park, York

See more of the beautiful stone carvings, and read about the octagonal stone bench in Dean's Park, Minster Close, York here.


York Minster Doomstone
York Minster Doomstone

Read all about the Doomstone: a relief carving of hell from the 12th century.

The gargoyles and grotesques of our churches, cathedrals, minsters, abbeys and other buildings are fascinating with their wide variety of strange imagery.

I urge you to look up more often.....there's so much to see....

Grotesque exterior of Chapter House, York Minster
Grotesque exterior of Chapter House, York Minster

 
Grotesque interior Beverley Minster
Grotesque interior Beverley Minster

 
Grotesque interior Chapter House, York Minster
Grotesque interior Chapter House, York Minster

If you've enjoyed this little presentation of the grotesque, the humorous and the bizarre, and you feel that you'd really rather sleep better with a regular evening dose, simply follow us on Twitter


Gargoyle Wakefield Chantry Chapel
Gargoyle Wakefield Chantry Chapel

 Thank you for reading!

Anne

Justbod team

 Pop over and visit our main site:


Artwork, carvings & sculptures
~inspired by history and nature~



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