Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lost Their Heads . . .

On my way out to points farther east last week, I stopped in the town of Soissons to take a quick look around. While approaching the Cathedral I went through the small market that was happening in a parking lot nearby, and was wondering how these folks had lost their heads . . .
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But it wasn't until I got into the Cathedral that I found the answer hanging on the wall. . Isn't religious art wonderful sometimes in helping us to understand the world we live in ?
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32 comments:

Arnaud said...

Some also missed their chest !!
And I can appreciate the technics of cut the head (or chest) or almost naked being, so they won't stain the clothes...
Very clever method ! ;-)

English Rider said...

With the old barbecue going in the background it may be an early version of a tail gate party?

Steve said...

I put it down to low flying aircraft...

AmyR said...

It does make everything clearer. ;)

Headless mannequins don't seem too effective to me. I'm usually distracted by the lack of a head and not noticing the clothes they have on.

Lydia said...

My but you are wry.
I giggled.

Deborah said...

You do make the most amazing connections...and made me laugh.

Adam said...

The painting looks like quite a recent one. The Roman soldier is certainly quite camp!

Sky said...

Very good post, I love the way you designed and presented the information, and I like the content of the post

the watercats said...

How chic are french markets! ver here all you get a a million plastic junk toy stalls and endless counterfeit nike and addidas hoodies!
That religeous mural is slightly disturbing, there's something very russian about it or something... the guys being beheaded look like good honest farm worers, and the fella beheading looks like one of them. It could be a metaphor for modern life.. kill or be killed, despite people being neighbours...
(think I might be getting out of my depth here... help!)

the watercats said...

ignore all spelling errors.. some I can't even explain!?... it's morning!

Bill Evertson said...

First you have belt tightening; then you have cut backs.

TechnoBabe said...

Shopping for jeans is everywhere isn't it? Amazing to me that so many people around the world are so into shopping. Your photos, especially of the scene "off with your head" are great pictures as usual, and your way of posting them give us lots to think about and discuss regarding people's strong beliefs.

BLOGitse said...

Owen, you're right, 'It doesn't have to be this way'.
Thanks!

Nathalie said...

I'll pass on the role of religions. Don't get me started ;-)

Perhaps the barbecue in the background is for the cat?

louciao said...

Can't argue with tradition. Well, you can, but it's pointless. As is tradition, mostly.

I think the beheading scene is an illustration of how the doctors of that time dealt with their patients' complaints of having a nasty buzzing sound in their heads, as exemplified by the golden gnats swarming round their noggins.

@eloh said...

The expressions tell a story and a half.

Owen said...

Arnaud, you are very observant... and insightful.
;-)
I'm sure during the period in history represented in the painting they were still experimenting with the best methods possible to produce headless and chestless mannequins for modelling clothes... with no stains...

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Dear ER, I think you've hit the nail on the head, as it were... and I'm sure in those days there were plenty of excuses for tail gate parties like this...

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Steve, I can only admire your imaginative vision for proposing plausible hypotheses for understanding our world...
:-D

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Amy, you may want to go back and watch "The Devil Wears Prada" again... nothing, but nothing should distract you from focusing on the clothes... ;-)

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Lydia,
One cannot be serious 24 hours a day... however, admitting to having giggled is very serious indeed...
:-D

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Deborah, it's funny, but the connections just seem to present themselves... keep on laughing, it's the best medicine...

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Hey Adam, I'm not sure when it was painted, I didn't notice an info tag near it, maybe I didn't look enough, but anyway, yeah, that Roman is something with his hot red plume on his head, bulging muscles in an armband, metal plates on the pectorals, and slight expression of distaste at the proceedings...

Owen said...

Sky, many thanks, hopefully my sometimes slightly morbid humour isn't too off-putting ?

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Dear H2OCats, If you actually came and looked a little closer at some of the "markets" in France, maybe more like what you described near you than you might think... the counterfeit hoodies are ubiquitous, and the word "cheap" comes to mind easily... but your second train of thought is interesting, as to whether the beheader knew the beheadees, and was acting under duress ? Guess we'll never know, but all sorts of speculation are possible...

Not to worry about the typos, I do the same thing alot... but I have to admit I was wondering with "worers" whether it was "k" or an "h" that you'd left off...
;-D

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Bill ! Excellent ! I see you have a perfectly clear understanding of the world in which we live ! LOL ! Cutbacks ! You killed me man...

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TechnoB, yeah, definitely alot of people into shopping at every chance. Well, imagine, what would people do if they couldn't go shopping ? If we didn't live in a vastly crassly commercial age where literally everything can be bought and sold ? Am happy if you and other readers are finding food for thought here... I tend to ruminate alot by nature, and these little illustrated musings are usually the result of ruminating about things encountered in my wanderings...

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BLOGitse, if you keep this up you are going to obtain the "gold card privilleged regular Magic Lantern visitor" status, and all the benefits thus conferred ... just kidding, am very happy to see you dropping in... I need to come and look at what you are doing in Egypt... will be around as fast as my little legs can trot...

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Nathalie, I will gracefully accept your pass on the subject of religions, I knew I was on thin ice with this, but can't resist from time to time... without meaning to offend anyone of course, but one aspect of certain organized religions that really bothers me is the intense level of violence portrayed in much of the art associated with such organizations... though the message is supposedly peace and love, there is a heck of alot of bloodshed and hate depicted... go figure...

And you are right, that may be the cat's back legs being grilled there...
;-D

(If anyone is wondering what that was about, please go look at Nathalie's blog Avignon In Photos)

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Lynne ! Such irreverence and iconoclastic utterings ! Actually, I thought this was a weight reduction program in action, you know, the one that had all those posters up which said : "Want to lose 20 pounds of ugly fat ? Well, chop off your head !"

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@eloh, amen... the painter had a certain talent, no slouch for depicting emotions...

jeff said...

Owen..
Aurais-tu peur des chenilles ?...
Pour en revenir au mec à la hache... Il semble prendre réellement son pied ! ! !...;-)... Non ?...

sssssSSSSSScrunch...............................................................

K'line Bloom said...

Bonsoir Owen,
Je réponds à ton commentaire de ce soir chez Loulou...oui, moi aussi j'ai perdu la tête...dans les roses...;-))
K'line (à défaut de Kate M...)

ArtSparker said...

What a pleasing sort of implied violence.

louciao said...

Quoi?! Moi--irreverent?

Janie said...

Ewww. That is gruesome.

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Owen~ Something of a stretch for me, the mannequins and martrys all losing their heads. The martyrs I know of had the same death as Christ: crucifixion on a cross, plus they were always old; these two men look young and virile, not exactly head-chopping material.

The Sagittarian said...

Good comparison, I have heard of being off one's face, off one's head and just plain old off.
It always amazes me how history shows people meekly waiting for their bonce to be lopped, when I'm sure the realisty must have been "Come and get me then..." while the poor person tried to get as far away as possible!
Mind you, I had overheard someone irately yelling "Get the hell away from me or I'll rip your head off and cr*p down yer neck"....

desi said...

OMW!!!

Alberto Oliver said...

Owen, it is surprising how we can find such that kind of scary thing in a church, a place suposed to be for reflexion and peace. I remember as a child all those choped heads, stigmas, slaughters, hell flames, nails, moaning souls,,,freezing. =)I take advantage of this moment to invite you to my "new born" photoblog, it is http://landscapeofalife.blogspot.com/

and wish me luck =)
regards and have a nice weekend

Owen said...

Hi Alberto, It always amazes me, all the violence depicted in alot of so-called "religious" art. I know the message in the story behind such scenes is that cruel wicked people were perpetrating hateful acts against others because of their faith... but the resonance from the imagery remains one of violence. And when one looks at all the massacres and wars and whatever carried out in the name of various religions over the centuries...

And hey, great start for the new blog, I just went to take a look, looks fantastic. Gry beat me to being the first follower though, too bad... good luck with it !
:-D

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Desi... OMW ? I know OMG, but OMW ? Oh my wildebeest ? BTW, did you get my "love" letter ?
:-)

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Dear Saj, love your expression about lopping of bonces... wasn't familiar with a bonce, but I got the picture. And likewise, jeez, anyone comes near me with an axe and I'll be sprinting off into the hills for sure ! And your second expression there is lovely also, I had heard that one before, a long time ago... Thirsty work all these beheadings... any ideas ?
:-D
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Hi Margaret, well, it was a stretch for me too, but not so far a stretch. As for martyrs, just in the Catholic church alone, there are hundreds of saints, many of who suffered all varieties of brutal ends, from burning to being shot full of arrows like a pin cushion, a veritable dictionary of horrendous acts...

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Hi Janie, yeah, exactly, that's why I find it incongruous to come upon works like this in a church...

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Louciao... hmmm, playing innocent eh ? ;-D

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ArtSparker, well, I don't know if "pleasing" is the word, but I'm glad you enjoyed this little detour...

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Chère Re-K'lining in Roses, I can see you've lost your head... I guess that perfume must be totally crazy... will have to go sniff for myself...
:-D
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Scccrrrunnncchhhh... errrr Jeff, oui, c'est clair, il met toute sa volonté dans son acte... visage rouge, poitrine bizarrement jaunie, bras pales... sur les points des pieds... un tueur né...
Surprenant que le tableau n'était pas un triptyque avec deux autres panneaux à montrer le sang qui jaillit et la tête qui tombe... et il n'y a même pas un pannier pourvu à cet éffet... dur dur l'époque...

Bonne soirée Jeff, et bon weekend plein de bonnes choses... chenilles, tises, tout !

Tom Bejgrowicz said...

(laughs) I loved the effect this post had on me as I scrolled down to see the beheading!

Owen said...

Hey Tom... hopefully an effect of liberating laughter... this is why one shouldn't stick one's neck out...
:-)

Gwen Buchanan said...

Now this is hilarious!!!

pRiyA said...

hahahaha....