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Tony Grist

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Loaves And Fishes? [Dec. 20th, 2018|12:23 pm]
Tony Grist
The Crypt is the oldest part of Canterbury Cathedral- and its where the shrine of St Thomas was first erected- and remained until the pressure of pilgrim numbers compelled them to move it upstairs. There's some great Romanesque carving down there.

Also it's very dark. Some of the things I'd like to have photographed were so deep in shadow I didn't even try. This particular capital was in the twilight zone. I doubted it would come out but I gave it a shot- and processed the result. The image is grainy- but then so is original stone.

A person sits on another person's head holding a fish in one hand and something indeterminate in the other. Is this the boy who supplied Jesus with the loaves and fishes with which he fed the 5,000? Seems unlikely: for one thing he apears to have a beard and moustache and for another the indeterminate object looks more like a bowl than a loaf. But I don't have any other suggestions. I've not seen anything like it before.

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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2018-12-20 10:20 pm (UTC)
I did a bit of googling around and found this:

http://www.canterbury-archaeology.org.uk/capitalsv19/4590809632

They are acrobats apparently although they have no explanation for the fish and what they call the bowl.
There really are some marvelous carvings down there.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-12-21 09:08 am (UTC)
That's a much clearer image than mine.

I was way off with my proposed interpretation.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2018-12-21 04:01 pm (UTC)
I've seen a lot of acrobats as a theme on Romanesque carvings here in Spain. I've always wondered where that motif came from.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-12-21 04:47 pm (UTC)
It comes from nowhere- and then disappears again. Outside the Romanesque era no-one seems to have been particularly excited by acrobats. There's something going on here and we've lost the key.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2018-12-21 07:14 am (UTC)
Another fabulously strange bit of Norman carving!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-12-21 09:12 am (UTC)
I think it represents a pair of comedians- the Norman Morecambe and Wise- performing their famous "fish and bowl" routine.
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