Symbolism of Animals and Birds Represented in English Church Architecture

Arthur H. Collins

New York: McBride, Nast & Company, 1913

Digital resource PDF file available

"No student of our ancient churches can fail to have noticed how frequently animals and other representations of natural history are to be found carved therein. The question will naturally occur: are these scultures, or paintinge, mere grotesque creations of the artist's fancy, or have they rather some meaning which patient investigation will discover for us? ... This link has now been found in the natural history books of the Middle Ages, which were in more common circulation than any other book, save, of course, the Bible. ... Such books are usually called Bestiaries. They are to be found in every great library... Few books have entered more than the Bestiaries into the common life of European nations. Hence we may understand that the sculptors who beautified our churches were not slow to make use of such familiar material." - Collins, chapter 1.

Includes 120 black & white photgraphs of sculpture and carvings (primarily stone) in churches througout England. All photographs are fully annotated as to location, date and subject.

Language: English


Last update December 16, 2021