Gargoyle statues and figures have a long and interesting history. Theyre popularity seemed to peak many years ago but just when everyone thought they were gone for good there has been a recent increase of interest in these creatures. Large statues are still relatively sparsely used but smaller gargoyle figurines that are easier to move and decorate with indoors are seeing increased use in recent years.
The first known use of gargoyles began around 1200 A.D. in what is now the country of France. Their name originated from the French word, gargouille, meaning throat. This makes more sense when you consider that the original gargoyles were used as water spouts and in combination with rain gutters. As the water ran out of the gutter it would, most often, run out of the mouth of these gargoyles. These creatures were created to resemble animal or human parts or a combination of both. Lions, wolves, and eagles were common animals that gargoyles were designed after.
Sometime around 300 years later gargoyles became more widely used in decorating and artwork. These figures are correctly referred to as grotesques and are what have been used in front of churches and other buildings. They were, also, designed using human and animal parts but would often use plant designs, as well. These statues and figures were used for indoor decorating, as well as, outdoor statues that we common picture when we here the word, gargoyle.
Today, most gargoyle figurines are, actually, grotesque figurines and have a similar look and most of them appear slightly sinister. These items can become wonderful conversation pieces and, surprisingly enough, will fit in with, almost, every decorating style imaginable.
There was a time that these statues were strongly associated with gothic style and interests but today an interestingly designed gargoyle statue makes a great piece of art in any home.