Author Archives: julianna

Cercles Church And Beyond

This is a presentation of approximately 75 slides of sculptures in the church of Cercles – and beyond

The Green Men Of Notre Dame La Grande, Poitiers – Click On The Text To See The Album

The richly decorated façade of Notre Dame la Grande, Poitiers, has an exceptionally large number of Masques Feuillus of different kinds.  Whereas the scheme of biblical sculpture is well-documented and often described, there remain many questions.

The figure known as Jesse bears an interesting resemblance to a sculpture of Cernunnos found beneath Notre Dame de Paris, where there was previously a pagan temple.  (The photograph of Cernunnos has kindly been offered by Isabelle Didierjean through the good offices of J-F Bradu.)  What can the seated figure on Jesse’s left represent?  Is it male or female?  Clad in armour or rather beautiful leggings?  We can see that it is mutilated, but what is the block that remains?  Is the sculpture unfinished, or is it a crude attempt to support crumbling masonry?  Please send a message to the Forum if you have any ideas.  On the other side of the façade is a kind of Satyr.  Among the many fanciful creatures besporting themselves among the saints and prophets, my favourite is a merry little Merman Imp.  Look at the way his legs turn into serpentine monsters with snarling heads, and then please refer to my short article among the "Notes & Queries" called Lion Horns.  This is my personal interpretation of the image :

The imp is an "Image of Lust" representing man’s libido.  Medieval man was always admonished to be vigilant regarding his base animal instincts.  If he gave way to his urges he would become an animal himself.  He must grasp his desire and grapple with it to prevent himself falling into the sin of Luxuria.

Personal Introduction

In early childhood I was obsessed by Greek mythology, and subsequently I progressed to studying the mythologies of other countries. Church visiting became a keen interest before I was in double figures…

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Perigord Pie Recipe

I spent some pleasant weeks researching a recipe for “Perigord Pie” which was so popular among the leisured classes of the 19th century. Along the way I collected numerous literary references from such authors as Disraeli, Sir Richard Burton, Surtees, Washington Irving and Edith Wharton. Not much the wiser, I eventually created my own recipe, photographing the key stages as I went. Here is the finished result : It should have had the birds’ heads & beaks poking out, but I didn’t think my guests could stomach that! As it was, the pie went down a treat, and was declared to be a “tour de force”. The following morning, I discovered a genuine recipe. It called for a pound of truffles, so it’s just as well I only came upon it after inventing a slightly more economical version.

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Perigord Summer

I wrote "Perigord Summer" in 1995, to introduce young people to those aspects of the region which thrilled me : associations with Eleanor of Aquitaine, (always known as “Alienor” here), with Cathars, Green Men or “masques feuillus”…

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MY APOLOGIES TO VISITORS TO THIS SITE WHO DON’T HAVE BROADBAND : as there is a huge amount of material here, it will take them a long time to get around it or see the pictures, even though they are compressed.