Dimensions: 220 mm x 210 mm
Published: 1 Jan 2014
A lovely book… full of provocative ideas
– The Daily Telegraph
He moves easily from such detail to clear, passionate prose on some of the underlying cultural themes that might explain the many curiosities of this strange and compelling aspect of medieval art.
– Journal of the British Archaeological Association, Jon Cannon
The beautifully produced book illustrates the incredible range and quality of the medieval stone carvings in one of Britain’s most spectacular buildings.
– Folklore review
Of Sirens and Centaurs provides a superb introduction to the fascinating world of medieval sculpture through examples in Exeter Cathedral which, for a Gothic building, contains a surprisingly rich repertoire of such classically-derived monsters. Glacial faces, secretive and obtuse, stare out from corbels and roof bosses; geometrically arranged creatures tessellate into kaleidoscopic patterns; figures are frozen, often in extremes of emotion; mythical monsters lurk. And yet within this otherness there is often a sense of play, of character, of unstable identities, of a world beyond the mask. In this guise the architectural carvings make visible the unseen life-force of the building. Carved into crucial architectural elements these sculptures are the building. The energy they carry is also the energy of the life of their creators and their material and spiritual worlds.