Bored Gargoyle – Paris Cityscape From Notre Dame Art
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I read that most of the Gargoyles on our modern day Notre Dame, although historically accurate, are not original. Most of the gargoyles had been lost to the ravages of time and changing tastes. I don’t know whether this bored gargoyle is an original medieval design or part of the 19th century renovations, but his droll expression immediately caught my attention when I arrived on the roof of Notre Dame cathedral.
I love how much detail was put in the carving of these gargoyles. Consider that until tourists started trekking to the top of these churches, no one without binoculars could have really seen this bored gargoyle. Yet he is an incredibly life-like amount of detai. I almost expected him to turn and tell me how tired he is of seeing the Parisian skyline day in and day out! Perhaps these very-human gargoyles were an inside joke for the craftsmen who built and rebuilt the cathedral over the hundreds of years it’s stood in the midst of the Seine? Or perhaps they were simply quite proud of their craft even if the results could be appreciated by a only a few.
I guess anything could get boring as long as our Gargoyle friend has been there, but looking at his view over those beautiful Second Empire buildings… Well, it’s hard for me to imagine being such a bored gargoyle. He must be pretty jaded not to see the beauty below him. I love the fairly uniform height of the Parisian skyline, and how it’s just punctuated here and there by a dome or steeple. There’s a very human symmetry to Paris that’s missing in our more modern metropolises of the world.
I don’t know what intention the original sculptor had in this pose for our bored gargoyle friend, but I’m so glad I had the chance to see and photograph it first hand. This print deserves to be seen and appreciated whether you’ve been to the top of Notre Dame in person or just dream of your chance.