Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hideously Beautiful

Today's challenge was to make a beautiful photograph of something commonly thought of as ugly.

I decided to take a photo of this ugly gargoyle that is actual an incense burner. Not really a fan of the incense but had to light one up in order to obtain the smoking action.

The history of a gargoyle is quite interesting. According to Wikipedia, in architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building. Preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls is important because running water erodes the mortar between the stone blocks. Architects often used multiple gargoyles on buildings to divide the flow of rainwater off the roof to minimize the potential damage from a rainstorm. 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 term originates from the French gargouille, originally "throat" or "gullet" and similar words derived from the root gar, "to swallow", which represented the gurgling sound of water (e.g., Spanish garganta, "throat"; Spanish gárgola, "gargoyle"). It is also connected to the French verb gargariser, which means "to gargle." The Italian word for gargoyle is doccione o gronda sporgente, an architecturally precise phrase which means "protruding gutter." The German word for gargoyle is Wasserspeier, which means "water spitter." The Dutch word for gargoyle is waterspuwer, which means "water spitter" or "water vomiter." A building that has gargoyles on it is "gargoyled."

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 distinction between gargoyles (functional waterspouts) and non-waterspout grotesques.

Gargoyles are said to scare off and protect from any evil or harmful spirits.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Want to add your two cents? Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? Or just think I should be committed? Let me know!