Two capitals at Passirac (Charente)

One is a scene somewhat similar to that at

- a man grasps a woman's upper thigh and she grasps his huge erection,
while a bearded, human-faced lion attacks the man...

and a bicorporeal, snake-tongued lion paws the woman.

Compare this capital with an interior capital at Santillana del Mar (Santander)
where a man palpates a woman's breast while she manipulates his enormous virile member.

(after Cooke and García)


Here are two illustrations of an Italian male exhibitionist at Civita Castellana threatened by the Beast of Hell,
together with n exhibitionist Adam and Eve and a male Luxuria at St John Lateran in Rome.

from Valentino Pace: Immagini della sensualità nel medioevo italiano, 2002
(available on the web)

The other transept capital at Passirac depicts a man afflicted by concupiscence and being warned by heavenly hornblowers,
like those at


Thirty years later...

photo © Joël Jalladeau

Compare the above with two corbels at Moulins-sur-Yèvre (Cher)
where one figure sounds the Last Trump in the direction of a sinner being devoured by the jaws of Hell...

...while at Lasvaux, Martel (Lot), the horn-blower blasts at a (broken) megaphallic exhibitionist...

..and at Bourbon-l'Archambault (Allier) two hornblowers mounted on rams
direct their blasts towards a devilish figure with raised skirts.

photo by Joel Jalladeau

Other capitals in the same church feature heavenly musicians, including another (bearded) hornblower
who simultaneously plays a harp
while seated on a stool.

photo by Joël Jalladeau

At Saint-Révérien (Nièvre), the dead arise from sarcophagi as two angels sound the Last Trump.

photo by Joël Jalladeau

But at Oyré (Vienne), the trumpeter simultaneously pulls the long beard of a sinner.

photo by Joël Jalladeau

remerciements à Joël Jalladeau pour les dernières cinq photographies


Compare again with the entertainers at San Martín de Mondoñedo.

Yermo (Cantabria)


Santiago de Compostela, Puerta de las Platerías:
Adam and Eve with the Trumpeter of Doom beneath.


photo by courtesy of ParadoxPlace


A remarkable transept-capital in the Cantabrian church at Villanueva de la Nía might be a lampoon
like the famous self-fellating bishop on Cologne Cathedral.
shows an important personage flanked by two exhibitionists - one almost identical to the female on an outside window at nearby
the other a broken ithyphallic male blowing a trumpet into the ear of the personage,
who stands with palms outstretched and wears a tiara of something resembling hares' ears
(the hare was a symbol of concupiscence)
or possibly feathers as worn by (concupiscent) jongleurs/joglars - or a King of Fools.

photos by courtesy of Mark Gredler




Chrism with lovely and significant decoration - including a horn-blower -
above the doorway at Coll de Nargo (LLeida).


Champagnolles (17)

more hornblowers