The Green Man

View previous topic View next topic Go down

The Green Man

Post  eddie on Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:50 am



Wiki:

A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament, Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical). "The Green Man" is also a popular name for English public houses and various interpretations of the name appear on inn signs, which sometimes show a full figure rather than just the head.

The Green Man motif has many variations. Found in many cultures around the world, the Green Man is often related to natural vegetative deities springing up in different cultures throughout the ages. Primarily it is interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, or "renaissance," representing the cycle of growth each spring. Some[who?] speculate that the mythology of the Green Man developed independently in the traditions of separate ancient cultures and evolved into the wide variety of examples found throughout history.


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:36 pm


A foliate head in the shape of an acanthus leaf: a corbel supporting the Bamberg Horseman, Bamberg cathedral, Germany, early 13th century

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:38 pm


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:40 pm


A medieval Green Man (disgorging type) on the capital of a column in an English church

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:42 pm


Grave slab in Shebbear churchyard, Devon, England.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:44 pm


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:46 pm


This stone carving of a Green Man from Dore Abbey, Herefordshire, England, retains some of its original colouring.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:48 pm

Wiki:

Superficially the Green Man would appear to be pagan, perhaps a fertility figure or a nature spirit, similar to the woodwose (the wild man of the woods), and yet he frequently appears, carved in wood or stone, in churches, chapels, abbeys and cathedrals, where examples can be found dating from the 11th century through to the 20th century.

To the modern observer the earlier (Romanesque and medieval) carvings often have an unnervingly eerie or numinous quality. This is sometimes said to indicate the vitality of the Green Man, who was able to survive as a symbol of pre-Christian traditions despite, and at the same time complementary to, the influence of Christianity: rather than alienate their new converts, early Christian missionaries would often adopt and adapt local gods, sometimes turning them into saints.


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:51 pm


Detail of a "disgorging" medieval misericord in Ludlow parish church.

The Green Man appears in many forms, with the three most common types categorized as:

The Foliate Head - completely covered in green leaves
The Disgorging Head - spews vegetation from its mouth
The Bloodsucker Head - sprouts vegetation from all facial orifices.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:52 pm


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:55 pm


This wood carving of a "foliate head" type is on the Renaissance screen at Dore Abbey.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:57 pm


The Green Man by sculptor Toin Adams at the Custard Factory, Birmingham, England.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:59 pm


Fountain found in Campo San Giacomo, Venice], Italy.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 7:01 pm


18th century print of chimney-sweeps' May Day Jack in the Green in London.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 7:03 pm


Osiris, lord of the dead. His green skin symbolizes re-birth.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 7:06 pm


Illustration of the sign which hung outside a public house in Covent Garden in the 1970s

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 7:08 pm


Carving at entrance to Schloß, Tübingen, Germany.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 7:10 pm


The Green Man. 2000 studio album by Roy Harper.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  pinhedz on Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:58 am


pinhedz
Schrödinger's Hepcat

Posts : 11528
Join date : 2011-04-11
Location : DC

http://www.balalaika.org/

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  Yakima Canutt on Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:39 pm

THE GREEN MAN IS GREEN.  THE GREEN MAN IS A MAN. THE GREEN MAN CAN BE A LEAFY GREEN DEITY AND MAYBE A WATCHER AND MAYBE A CONSORT. THE GREEN MAN IS A SYMBOL. THE GREEN MAN IS AN OLD SYMBOL.  THE GREEN MAN IS AN OLD GREEN SYMBOL THAT MEANS GREEN GROWING.  THAT'S ABOUT IT.













Yakima Canutt

Posts : 7842
Join date : 2011-04-11

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:59 am

No, that's not "it," Yakima. There is more. Much more. Much much more. Much much much more. Much much much much more. Much much much much much more. In the 16th century Cathedral at St-Bertrand de Comminges in southern France, there is even an example of a representation of a winged Earth Mother apparently giving birth to a smiling Green Man.

Because by far the most common occurrences of the Green Man are stone and wood carvings in churches, chapels, abbeys and cathedrals in Europe (particularly in Britain and France), some have seen this as evidence of the vitality of pre-Christian traditions surviving alongside, and even within, the dominant Christian mainstream. Much has been made of the boldness with which the Green Man was exhibited in early Christian churches, often appearing over main doorways, and surprisingly often in close proximity to representations of the Christ figure.

Incorporating a Green Man into the design of a medieval church or cathedral may therefore be seen as a kind of small act of faith on the part of the carver that life and fresh crops will return to the soil each spring and that the harvest will be plentiful. Pre-Christian pagan traditions and superstitions, particularly those related to nature and trees, were still a significant influence in early medieval times, as exemplified by the planting of yew trees (a prominent pagan symbol) in churchyards, and the maintenance of ancient “sacred groves” of trees.

Tree worship goes back into the prehistory of many of the cultures that directly influenced the people of Western Europe, not least the Greco-Roman and the Celtic, which is no great surprise when one considers that much of the continent of Europe was covered with vast forests in antiquity. It is perhaps also understandable that there are concentrations of Green Men in the churches of regions where there were large stretches of relict forests in ancient times, such as in Devon and Somerset, Yorkshire and the Midlands in England. The human-like attributes of trees (trunk-body, branches-arms, twigs-fingers, sap-blood), as well as their strength, beauty and longevity, make them an obvious subject for ancient worship. The Green Man can be seen as a continuing symbol of such beliefs, in much the same way as the later May Day pageants of the Early Modern period, many of which were led by the related figure of Jack-in-the-Green.

Yakima Canutt

Posts : 7842
Join date : 2011-04-11

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:15 am

Aren't you going to say something about the Celtic nature god Cernunnos from the Gundestrup Cauldron?

Yakima Canutt

Posts : 7842
Join date : 2011-04-11

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:29 am

remember that the disgorging Green Man, sprouting vegetation from his orifices, may also be seen as a memento mori, or a reminder of the death that await all men, as well as a pagan representation of resurrection and rebirth, as new life naturally springs out of our human remains. The Greek and Roman god Dionysus/Bacchus, often suggested as an early precursor of the Green Man, was also associated with death and rebirth in his parallel guise as Okeanus.

Several of the ancient Celtic demigods, Bran the Blessed being one of the best known, become prophetic oracles once their heads had been cut off (another variant on the theme of death and resurrection) and, although these figures were not traditionally represented as decorated with leaves, there may be a link between them and the later stand-alone Green Man heads.

There are several examples of self-consciously skull-like Green Men, with vegetation sprouting from eye-sockets, although these are more likely to be found on tombstones than as decoration in churches (good examples can be seen at Shebbear and Black Torrington in Devon, England). Such images might be interpreted as either representing rebirth and resurrection (in that the new life is growing out of death), or they might represent death and corruption (with the leaves growing parasitically through the decaying body).

Yakima Canutt

Posts : 7842
Join date : 2011-04-11

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  Yakima Canutt on Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:43 am


Yakima Canutt

Posts : 7842
Join date : 2011-04-11

Back to top Go down

Re: The Green Man

Post  Sponsored content Today at 6:02 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum