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Thread: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

  1. #1
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Another image from the Biltmore House. The Biltmore House contains hundreds of unique hand carved statues such as the ones posted below.

    A gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque, usually made of granite, with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between.

    A trough is cut in the back of the gargoyle and rainwater typically exits through the open mouth. Gargoyles are usually an elongated fantastic animal because the length of the gargoyle determines how far water is thrown from the wall. The word 'gargoyles' is derived from an old French word gargouille, meaning throat. The English words gargle, gurgle and gargoyle are derived from gargouille.

    Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Although there are some Gargoyles at the Biltmore House, many of the carved figurines as those in this image are purely decorative and therefore are actually stone Grotesques.

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    Re: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    I really like the composition with the modern building looming over the grotesques. A nice reminder that modernity has no need for demons or superstitions.

    Thanks for posting.

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    Re: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    I like it too. Nice one Frank.

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    Re: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Excellent capture of the fine details in the "creatures."

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    Re: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Here is another pair showing a side view. From this perspective we can get a better feel of how elongated the creatures can be.

    Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    You may notice from the teeth, as an example, that this is a different set of grotesques from the one in the first image. Every one of the statues, gargoyles, and grotesques on the building are hand carved by master stonecutter craftsmen.

    To get a feel of where they sit on the building, take a look at the center tower in this image.
    Last edited by FrankMi; 24th November 2012 at 03:47 PM.

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    Re: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Interesting bit of esoterica. Never knew these sculptures had two names depending on whether they spit water or not. The level of architectural detail in the carving is quite amazing. Very fascinating image.

    Did you consider cropping the second to focus more on the two critters and have less space to the right?

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    Did you consider cropping the second to focus more on the two critters and have less space to the right?
    I did Trevor, but they are facing that way and with the bottom one in particular sticking so far right I felt that it might throw the image's balance off. But then, others, such as yourself, may have better ideas.

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Some of the grotesques are used as column supports:

    Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Grotesques or Gargoyles?
    Last edited by FrankMi; 24th November 2012 at 08:26 PM.

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    Re: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Good stuff. I like them. I'm very envious that you've had the opportunity to visit some place cool to take some pictures. They should have a 'Photographers Appreciation Day' and shoo away all the other tourists and leave some lift trucks around so you can get some really cool angles off the ground. I digress.

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Quote Originally Posted by djg05478 View Post
    Good stuff. I like them. I'm very envious that you've had the opportunity to visit some place cool to take some pictures. They should have a 'Photographers Appreciation Day' and shoo away all the other tourists and leave some lift trucks around so you can get some really cool angles off the ground. I digress.
    Thank you Debbie! If you check their website Debbie I believe that do have special tours such as the Architect’s Tour that allow you to get to unique places like up on the roofs and other 'behind the scenes' areas.

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    Re: Grotesques or Gargoyles?

    Thats very interesting stuff Frank. You should see that place at xmas time..... Thanks for posting more

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