The Nature of the Beast- Amuse Bouche #30 (Dennis Aubrey)


Today’s amuse-bouches features another capital at Notre Dame du Port in Clermont-Ferrand. The capital represents a theme familiar in medieval church iconography, the restraint of man’s animal nature.

Capital - Restrained ape, Église Notre Dame du Port, Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

Capital – Restrained ape, Église Notre Dame du Port, Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

The theme is illustrated by a man holding a rope tied around the neck of an ape, a symbolic gesture that would be easily understandable to the most simple of beholders. Just as the church checks man’s primitive urges, this man restrains the beast. We find echoes of this in Jung’s collective unconscious or Freud’s “archaic remnants” – those primitive forces and urges that exert an overwhelming force on human behavior.

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.

2 responses to “The Nature of the Beast- Amuse Bouche #30 (Dennis Aubrey)

  1. The “natural man” and “natural woman” we must overcome/ endure .. and then only through Christ’s mercy we can be one with God. A good find.🙂 kml

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