Saturday, 1 August 2009

Saturday Photo: Urban Lions

It takes all kinds, they say. That goes for lions too. The one on the left is carved from granite or some interesting stone and is part of a pair guarding the stairs leading to an imposing house on Côte Sainte Catherine Road.

The picture on the top right is of a lion in concrete in front of a much more modest dwelling in Montreal's Plateau district. It probably has a more devoted group of fans than the other one, I imagine. As I passed it one morning recently, a man and his little boy in a stroller--probably on the way to day care--were talking about it. Obviously it is a landmark on their daily round.

The other one is much less approachable. Not only is it in a considerably more chic neighborhood, but it is on a street which doesn't get nearly as much pedestrian traffic. I'd gone past it hundreds of times on the bus or in a car before I walked in front of it and discovered the lovely workmanship. Art for the masses, or art for the elite?


Martin Langeland said...

Art is where you find it, sez I.
Probably makes me a leveler.
One of my Professors, Paul Treichler, claimed that the plays of W. Shakespeare were produced somewhere in the world every day since he died.
I always found it intriguing that old Shakes worked in a metropolitan area of approximately 250,000 people. And he was in a crowd of other great writers and performers. There are a lot of small cities not turning in a full day's art, I guess.

lagatta à montréal said...

There are lions galore outside a Vietnamese Buddhist temple near me, on Alma just south of St-Zotique.

Rumour has it that the lions outside modest dwellings belonging to Southern European immigrants indicate the house is paid off, but who knows? It is a pleasant bit of whimsy anyway.

I've always liked that house on Côte-Ste-Catherine with its lion, though I don't envy the gardeners. I cycled past it frequently for years when attending Université de Montréal. There was no bicycle path then and it could get hairy, especially late in the evening.

Have you ever been to Venice, and seen the many lions of St-Mark and the even more numerous pussycats?

Mary Soderstrom said...

Love the story about lions indicating that one has paid off the mortgage. A turn on keeping the wolf from the door, perhaps?

And yes, it is best not to be a snob about what people consider art.

As for Venice--no, haven't been there yet, but maybe one day...

My apologies for the crooked shot of the fancy house, BTW. I had intended to photoshop it straight but it was harder than I though.


Jack Ruttan said...

I like the little concrete lions with catseye marbles for eyes.

Mary Soderstrom said...

Catseye marbles? I hadn't noticed. What good eyes you have, Jack.