Offered by Dei Bardi Art
Sculptures and works of art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Architectural fragment decorated with a grotesque face of a green man
French, 15th century
33,5 x 26 x 23 cm
Gothic architectural fragment carved (front and behind) with a grotesque head of a leafy man called green man and two leaves around a molded arcade.
The green man is a legendary being primarily interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of new growth that occurs every spring and it is one of the most ancient, pagan symbols to be found in the christian church.
Because by far the most common occurrences of the Green Man are stone and wood carvings in churches, chapels, abbeys and cathedrals in Europe (particularly in Britain and France), some have seen this as evidence of the vitality of pre-Christian traditions surviving alongside, and even within, the dominant Christian mainstream. Much has been made of the boldness with which the Green Man was exhibited in early Christian churches, often appearing over main doorways, and surprisingly often in close proximity to representations of the Christ figure.
the Green Man of the Middle Ages may just have served as a decorative or architectural feature, in much the same way as gargoyles or sirens and other grotesques often found in medieval architecture. Such carvings were often thought by the superstitious stonemasons and carvers of the medieval period to ward off death and evil, or possibly to create a healthy balance of good and evil in the design.
8 500 €
24 000 €