Element of an outdoor carved woodwork
Showing a salamander , from a normand house
Origin : normandy, france
Period : late 15th – early 16th century
Height : 110 cm
Length : 37 cm
Depth : 11 cm
This carved oak woodwork was probably placed on the facade of the house, close to the roofing framework of a Norman house. The sculptor had depicted the salamender frontview in a stylised manner. The scales and the neck fringes are particularly detailed. The head was in the direction of the floor.
According to the popular belief, Salamander was living in the fire, from which the animal found life and protection. It was the symbol of the fire guardians commissioned by God himself. The popular belief, as old as Aristotle writings, also says that the salamender could extinguish fire. Thus we can easily understand why it was chosen to be depicted on the facade of a house.
Moreover, Charles de Valois, duke of Angoulème (d. 1496) used the salamander in fire, as his emblem. His son, François I, king of France, kept this emblem and added NUTRISCO ET EXTINGOmeaning “ I feed and I extinguish’. We can see salamanders depicted on different royal palaces. In the city of Lisieux , we can see the “Salamander Mansion ” from the 16th century, where a carved woodwork Salamander is running on the roofing framework.
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