Cephalphore (Head-Carrier)

In Paris the image of St Dennis holding his head recalls his story. Although beheaded as a martyr (on Montmartre) St. Dennis washed his head in a fountain then miraculously carried it to what would be the site of the Basillica St. Denis, in the suburb of St. Denis.

Other images of decapitated subjects are pictures in works featuring the story of David and Goliath, Perseus with the Head of Medusa and Salome receives the head of John the Baptist.

Some headless statutes are the result of vandalism or a product of the French Revelution. Many heads of the religious figures on the face of Cathedral Notre Dame, were vandalized during this period and then restored.


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