Friday, 28 November 2008

Toledo: Spouting friar

Caroline pointed out to me the cloister of the 15th Century Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo's Jewish quarter's extraordinary array of water spouts. Alongside this praying friar are a pair of protruding legs (booted); a boy with bow and arrow; a frog mounted on a fish; a cat, ears pricked and ready to pounce on its prey; a monkey; a young man carrying water; what looks like a dragon; an eagle with captive owl; a man playing the pipes - and others difficult to describe, but equally intricate. All, a tribute to the ingenuity and sense of fun of those intensely skilled craftsmen of 600 years ago.

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