Sunday, July 18, 2010

Geneva - Whimsy at the Bottom-Proppers, St. Peter's Cathedral Choir Stalls. Real folks.

You are now in St. Peter's Cathedral in the Old City in Geneva.  Barren, clearly stripped down (in 1539 or so)  from its fancy Roman Catholic origins.  There are lots of places that just look vacant, where did the inhabitant of this niche go? But that is what the Reformers did.  No more distractions allowed. Do away with the corruption, see :// This is religion and we are serious. 

Still, slip up to the choir stalls; see the places set for the elite to meet, and find these. Splendid wood carvings. There are elegant canopy forms, and two rows of places for people.

Now, look a little closer:  These are ecclesiastical bottom-proppers; bum-proppers to the unschooled, like us.  You can sort of stand-sit at your place.  You look like you are standing and get the credit for it, while you are really well supported where you need it during long, long services.  They are highly imaginative, the wood carver's art at its best.  And showing real people, not just the saintly conventional ones.

This is what they look like, captions ours and not theirs:

There is a hinge at the bottom sides, no pun intended, so the entire seat can be folded down straight, and made into a seat proper, not a propper.  Look at the shelf support built in.

Ecclesiastical carved bum-props. Excellent.  Ordinary people in carvings.  More excellence.  There was a period where the great artisans no longer remained anonymous.  See this ring of everyday faces in Croatia, the St. James Cathedral at Sibenik:

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