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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a soulful dog

(Thanks, WikiCommons.)

This dog sits and reflects in the Museum of Notre Dame Strasbourg. Though it was created during medieval times, when animals were not formally considered to have souls, I feel sure that the sculptor believed otherwise.

The head is, I find, quite sensitively modelled for medieval work, though the elongation and simplicity of the body is very much of the time.

Notre-Dame de Strasbourg was constructed from 1176 to 1439, and for two centuries was the world's tallest building. Here is the website of the Cathedral Museum. (In French, of course!)


castle diva said...

That's an amazing piece. Very soulful and the photo captures it nicely.

curator said...

Thank you, I too thought it was a tender look at what must have been a loved creature.

parlance said...

That's a beautiful piece of work and shows a great deal of love, I agree.

Are you sure about the souls thing? I had the idea it was Descartes who introduced the idea of animals as lesser creatures, kind of machines at the disposal of humans.

curator said...

Hi Parlance, always nice to see you and hope things are getting better for all in the Australian fires.... I was thinking of my Catholic upbringing, which - depending on how hard-line the congregation - taught that animals didn't have souls. I think St Francis should have put paid to that once and for all, but remember that scene in Chocolat where the man with the dog asked his priest if his dog could buy chocolate? "It can't endanger his soul since he doesn't have one," or something like that.

parlance said...

One of these days I'm actually going to research this 'soul' thing. It's very interesting. I agree about the Catholic/Christian animals-don't-have-souls thing, for sure, but I sometimes wonder whether it's a more recent teaching than we realise.
On the other hand, I just remembered those medieval monks who speculated whether even women might have souls. Hmmm...
(I'm female, by the way.)

parlance said...

Forgot to say, we're all sitting around here worrying about fires today. Even the schools have been closed today in country areas, which has never happened before. So far so good - it's 3:30 pm and nothing really bad has happened yet.

If it's not evidence of climate change, I don't know what it is that has changed here. It never, never rains. Scary in the extreme.

curator said...

Parlance, I keep you and all affected Aussies in my heart as you battle these fires. I lived in Melbourne for a year as a young child so it has a place firmly in my affection.