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the Oxford Gargoyles

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the Oxford Gargoyles Anger Envy Gluttony Greed Lust Pride Sloth St.Ed Disgust the Nosepicker the Jester the Piper the Tempter the Tempted Tofor Tofor

The faces here are reproductions of some of the gargoyles and grotesques decorating the various college buildings of Oxford University in England, which was founded by the medieval Monks to educate the clergy. Its oldest surviving colleges date from the 13th and 14th centuries. From the Middle Ages, European buildings have been decorated with intricate and imaginative carvings, commonly known as gargoyles or grotesques.

The name Grotesque stems from the typically exaggerated forms and expressions of these carvings, while strictly speaking a gargoyle has a functional use, channelling rain water and spewing it out through its mouth (literally gargling!) to protect the stone work of the building from damp, discoloration, and decay.

The name comes from the French gargouille, which also means throat.

 

the small Vices

 

Click on any of the faces to the left or above, or choose one of the names in the list below
to enlarge and find out more.