Saturday, May 06, 2006

Chesterton on Gothic and Greek Sculpture

"It seemed to represent men bending themselves (not to say
twisting themselves) to certain primary employments.
Some seemed to be sailors tugging at ropes; others, I think,
were reaping; others were energetically pouring something
into something else. This is entirely characteristic of
the pictures and carvings of the early thirteenth century,
perhaps the most purely vigorous time in all history.

The great Greeks preferred to carve their gods and heroes
doing nothing. Splendid and philosophic as their composure
is there is always about it something that marks the master
of many slaves. But if there was one thing the early
mediaevals liked it was representing people doing something--
hunting or hawking, or rowing boats, or treading grapes,
or making shoes, or cooking something in a pot."

-G. K. Chesterton in Tremendous Trifles

I've been reading this collection of Chesterton essays and poems, and
I'm thoroughly enjoying it, I was surprised how many of both the essays
and poems are about trees or use trees as examples.

Also, while googling cathedral sculpture, I found this awesome site with
over 3000 hi-rez images of the Chartes Cathedral from miniature sculpture
and manuscripts to exterior shots and windows.


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