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Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:France, Paris, Saint-Denis, chiens, dogs, effigies, effigy, funeral monument, gisants, middle ages, sculpture, symbolism
Photo Info

Dimensions1600 x 1065
Original file size215 KB
Image typeJPEG
Color spacesRGB
Date taken25-Sep-11 13:48
Date modified28-Jan-17 17:11
Shooting Conditions

Camera modelNIKON D700
Focal length35 mm
Exposure1/10 at f/11
ISO speedISO 1250
Saint-Denis cathedral landmark of gothic architecture

Guides in the kingdom of the dead

In the middle ages animals were depicted at the feet of the sculpted effigies (gisants) of the deceased. For men it was a lion, symbol of strength, justice and resurrection, for women a dog, meaning faith and fidelity. The dog was also seen as the guide in the kingdom of the dead. The seriousness of the subject didn't refrain the artists (often anonymous craftsmen) from adding plenty of accuracy, charm and humour. Several examples can be seen on the royal tombs in Saint-Denis.