Damnation in Ferrara – Amuse Bouche #17 (Dennis Aubrey)


We have another reader-sponsored amuse-bouche today. John McKean has been one of our long-time participants who has a distinguished background in architecture. He both studied and practiced architecture; he studied architecture’s history and theory and for some years ran the history and theory unit at London Met University and served eleven years as Professor of Architecture at Brighton. He was also an architectural journalist and editor. Today he is a partner in a new venture, also featured here at Via Lucis, Cognoscenti Travel.

John’s contribution is a scene from the west façade of the cathedral in Ferrara, Italy, the Cattedrale di San Giorgio Martire. The selection is seen highlighted to the far right in the following photo.

West facade detail, Cattedrale di San Giorgio Martire, Ferrara (Emilia-Romagna)  Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

West facade detail, Cattedrale di San Giorgio Martire, Ferrara (Emilia-Romagna) Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

It is almost the same rendition as the The Nightmare Figures of Bourges that we featured earlier as an amuse-bouche. The demons are conveying the damned to Hell through the maw of a great sharp-toothed beast and then pitching them into a fiery cauldron.

Detail of facade sculpture, Cattedrale di San Giorgio Martire, Ferrara (Emilia-Romagna)  Photo by John McKean

Detail of facade sculpture, Cattedrale di San Giorgio Martire, Ferrara (Emilia-Romagna) Photo by John McKean

John describes the scene of the entire ensemble leading to this scene; “we have the parting of the ways, with the cheery troops prancing to heaven leftwards, and the less happy to the right – to the choice of being consumed raw or cooked.” It is interesting to note that the work force of Hell seems quite cheerful at their work.

This is part of a series of posts 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. To see other amuse-bouches, follow this link.

5 responses to “Damnation in Ferrara – Amuse Bouche #17 (Dennis Aubrey)

  1. Dear Sirs:I wish to congratulate you on your wonderful posts about medieval France and Europe. I´m from Argentina where saving money to go to Europe is a huge and ardous task. If it weren´t for your emails, I would have never been able to see all the hidden secrets of France. No tour shows this!!Regards,Connie From: Via Lucis Photography To: constanzaps@yahoo.com Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 7:00 AM Subject: [New post] Damnation in Ferrara – Amuse Bouche #17 (Dennis Aubrey) #yiv8312991000 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8312991000 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8312991000 a.yiv8312991000primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8312991000 a.yiv8312991000primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8312991000 a.yiv8312991000primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8312991000 a.yiv8312991000primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8312991000 WordPress.com | Dennis Aubrey posted: “We have another reader-sponsored amuse-bouche today. John McKean has been one of our long-time participants who has a distinguished background in architecture. He both studied and practiced architecture; he studied architecture’s history and theory and ” | |

  2. Very many thanks Dennis,

    I’m sorry I’ve not been able to get my hands on a better image of the overall facade this week. I like the way you credit my photo in French – they do say San Giorgio down here!

    Best wishes,

    John

    >

  3. What a nightmare for sinners! Good thing this image is a fair height off the ground. After reading this post I went back to look at your photos of the figures of Bourges. At first, my thoughts were: I’m glad we no longer add such sculptures to buildings for passers-by to contemplate and tremble over. But then I remembered we see crueller behaviour on today’s videos and the news, images that, unfortunately, are not the product of an artist’s imagination. Thanks for your amuse-bouches, Dennis. They make us think.

  4. i like the contrast of the spirits of perdition and the people assigned to join them in outer darkness…aka “Jaws of Hell”

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