PJ and I have decided to do a series of posts, perhaps once a week, featuring an amuse-bouche, a bite-sized appetizer to whet the appetite of diners. Each of these will explore a single interesting feature of medieval architecture or sculpture.
Our choice for this week’s amuse-bouche features a wonderful detail from the tympanum at one of our favorite churches, the Basilique Sainte Foy in Conques. The tympanum is justly famous and we have written about it before.
But if you look carefully at the outermost archivolt of the tympanum arch, you will see a series of small figures, almost hidden amidst all of the other detail crowding this ensemble. These are small carvings of human faces peeking through the stone.
What I love about this more than anything else is the way that the sculptor toyed with reality in a way that we can only see as modern – turning stone into paper or fabric. Not to mention the piercing blue eyes!
To see other amuse-bouches, follow this link.