So, nothing better than introducing the subject with a glimpse of the marvellous Green Man that welcomes us in one of the Jerónimos Monastery's pillars, in Lisbon. As a representative of nature's vegetative powers, the Green Man, a manly facial representation made of leaves and vegetal elements, deserves a special place in many cultures.
Unlike many other Green Man representations, heavy and scary, this one has a light, cheerful, almost joyful expression, that welcomes us when entering the Monastery. Only when I was editing and working on the photos I noticed what seems to be an encrusted blue (?) material in its eyes, which definitely contributes to a lively, warm expression. Something to take a more detailed look next time! Unfortunately there seems to be no trace of chromatic material in the carvings (yes, Gothic buildings were lively painted, at least in the façades).
Every time I go back to Lisbon I visit the Jerónimos Church, in Belém (of course the proximity between the Monastery and the (in)famous pastéis de Belém factory is a plus!). State-of-the-art late Gothic architecture, the Jerónimos represents an endless world of material for architecture, history and symbolism lovers, and will serve as moto for many posts.
Text and photos by Rafael Fraga ©