Thursday, October 7, 2010

Knights in shining armour

One of the great things about touring around so many churches, monasteries and castles is that you get a good feeling for sculpture - and also see some funny ones because, especially in rural areas like Schwäbisch Hall / Hohenlohe, it seems like they couldn't always summon the best talent.

For instance, the Abbey Schöntal is the burial site of Götz von Berlichingen (the Knight with the Iron Fist - a very literal nickname stemming from his prosthetic arm) and his descendents. However, rather than sculpt armour fingers, there was a long period in the history of the Berlichingen clan where they were sculpted wearing metallic mittens. Whether this was the actual style at the time or a deficiency on the part of the artist, I can't say, but the results are entertaining.

Knight of the Berlichingen family. Wagon wheels are part of the Hohenlohe coat of arms

A later Berlichingen descendent
Although this later knight of the same family has fingers on his gloves, his head looks like it's trapped in a beer stein. The pointy toes on his shoes were all the rage in knightly fashion at the time, this got more extreme later on (below; Conquistador-style German knight).

Lastly, the goofiest one of them all, this one almost certainly of modern attribution from Schwäbisch Hall proper. The moustache/codpiece combination is really too much.

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