Thursday, 13 January 2011

Paris and I ~ 'Our Lady (& 100s of Gents)'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Our Lady (& 100s of Gents) ~

Wow, those guys must have seen a few things. All those statues lining the facade of Notre Dame - can you spot a few of them? And that's nothing - there are three massive doorways lined with these dudes just below them and behind the tree.

I wonder what they think of the current trend for subdued, environmentally-friendly (i.e. wimpish) Christmas tree lighting. Do you think they mutter to themselves 'It ain't like it used to be in the old days. Now old Louis XIV, he really knew how to decorate a tree...'?

There really are a LOT of statues over and around the doorways of Notre Dame de Paris; men, overwhelmingly men, of course, with the notable exception of Mary with a baby in front of the central rose window, and one of Adam's sidekick Eve, to symbolically remind us that we are all fundamentally bad until we can prove otherwise. Women were generally considered a rather unfortunate addition to the club in those days, and relegated to child-bearing chattel (or whores, witches, generally 'unclean', etc.) if they weren't being grudgingly elevated to the fantastical realms of unimpregnated Hebrew god hatchers.

Underneath this is a long row of Kings - twenty eight statues representing twenty eight generations of the kings of Judah, who are apparently descendants of a certain Jesse and 'human' ancestors of Mary and Jesus. These statues quickly came to represent the kings of France and during revolutionary times would often be attacked and damaged as a reaction to royal dominance.

Below these are the impressive three portals, which are curiously asymetric, but that would be best discussed in another posting I guess, seeing as... you can't really see them here. Well, only a little slice of the Portal of the Virgin, if that's not a contradiction in terms, leaving Mary's mum, Sainte Anne's portal and the cheerfully named Last Judgement doorway in the middle to your imaginations for the mo. See ya down there ;-)

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Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Jesse was the father of David (King David). I know this because a while back a friend of mine named his son Jesse and I stupidly asked him whether the boy's named after Jesse James. Hell, I'm still blushing, but it was a long time since I've read the Old Testament, and for that matter the New.

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