Poitiers (Vienne)

A splendid capital in the museum depicting mutual beard-pullers brandishing axes or cleavers probably represents Strife (vengeance, etc.).
On either side are robed females who half-heartedly seek to restrain them.

photo by Julianna Lees

Less realistic but perhaps even more ornamental are the beard-pulling heads on an apse-capital of the cathedral at Brive (Corrèze).
Forked beards represent Copts, Irish and Cathars, considered heretics by the Western Catholic church,
thertefore figures of strife - even though the strife was always initiated by the Catholic church.

More fanciful still is the bicorporeal heretic beard-puller at Sant Joan de les Abadesses (Girona).
The elephants symbolise Africa, domain of 'heretic sects' in Egypt and Ethiopia.

Anzy-le-Duc (Saône-et-Loire):
capital with beard-pullers and a tongue-sticking beast.

Brioude (Haute-Loire):
capital with beard-puller ?monks and ?monks blowing oliphants
or trumpets of doom to announce the presence of evil.

click for more
photo by Julianna Lees

Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val (Tarn-et-Garonne) - Maison des Consuls (which housed a court of justice):
ferocious mutual beard-pullers on a capital.

Click for another beard in Saint-Antonin


The best of all: from the ruined Abbey of La Sauve-Majeure (Gironde), and now in the Cloisters,
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, a sculptural masterpiece perhaps hinting at sodomy.

Beard-pulling centaurs at Charlieu (Rhône-Alpes)


Click for a page of beard-pullers, divided into two groups >