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  • Basford, Kathleen.
  • Foliate head (Sculpture)
  • Sculpture, Medieval -- Themes, motives.
  • Christian art and symbolism -- Medieval, 500-1500.
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  •  The green man / Kath...
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    The green man / Kathleen Basford.
    by Basford, Kathleen.
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    New York : D.S. Brewer, [1998]
  • Foliate head (Sculpture)
  • Sculpture, Medieval -- Themes, motives.
  • Christian art and symbolism -- Medieval, 500-1500.
  • ISBN: 
    0859914976 (paperback ; alkaline paper)
    9780859914970 (paperback ; alkaline paper)
    126 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
    "The foliate head has been used as an ornament in the church since the fourth or fifth century, first as a 'borrowed' motif or as an actual relic of antiquity, but gradually modified to suit particular decorative requirements and to express particular ideas. A tradition of meaning was established for it in the early middle ages, but as the fantasy was spun out and expanded in the thirteenth century its possibilities of meaning were explored no less imaginatively than its decorative possibilities. The Green Man carvings of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries have many different shades and slants of meaning: some are demons, and may well refer back to the idea of the Devil as radix omnium malorum, the root of all evil; some probably represent lost souls or spectres of the demon wood. Some are far more complex: the more realistic representation of both the human and the plant elements of the motif permits a deeper exploration of the ambivalent relationship between man and nature, and there are further allusions to man's own frail, fallen and concupiscent nature and to his brief life on earth. The imagery is often ambiguous, and a Green Man who at first glance may seem the very personification of springtime and 'summer is i-comen in' may on closer inspection reveal himself as a deadly horror hidden in the leaves." "Kathleen Basford's introduction surveys the history and development of the Green Man from prototypes in antique and early medieval ornament to the great period of Gothic architecture, when foliate heads are frequent."--Jacket.
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