Companions in death

by Helen Hooker January. 14, 2016 2407 views

As I walked around Chichester Cathedral this afternoon I started off taking photos of the architecture. However, when I got to the tomb of Richard Fitzalan, the third Earl of Arundel, and his wife, I took some photographs of the lion and dog that lie at their feet. I've often noticed this on large tombs in churches and wondered why the effigies frequently have a creature of some description at their feet. This got me thinking so I did another circuit of the Cathedral, looking for such tombs and found two more. If anyone knows why this is such a common feature of tombs like these I'd be interested to know and it'd be fascinating to hear from my other Photoblog friends if this is a peculiarly British tradition.

A lion at the feet of Richard Fitzalan, 3rd Earl of Arundel (c.1307-1376)

Richard Fitzalan's wife, Eleanor, has a dog at her feet.

Robert Sherburne, who was Bishop of Chicheser between 1337 and 1362, with his loyal hound.

Robert Sherburne, Bishop of Chicheser from 1508 to 1536, has an altogether more colourful tomb, guarded by a lion.

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Gillian Parsons 3 years, 9 months ago

Faithful friends indeed.

3 years, 9 months ago Edited
Larry Sample 3 years, 9 months ago

I do not know. But the animals are often said to represent our unconscious. Perhaps the idea is that if you are going to the underworld, you should bring a guide along that knows the way. Or so Jung might have said.

3 years, 9 months ago Edited