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Photo of Conques Abbey

Punishment of a Musician, or Vanity

A musician's harp has been confiscated by a devil, who pulls his tongue out with a hook. Another devil strangles the man and devours him from behind. This is probably not meant to condemn music or musicians in general, for Gregorian chant and instrumental music were both acceptable in this period. Instead it probably represents popular public entertainment and the vice of vanity. Detail of the Last Judgment Tympanum (1107-25) over the west door.

Photo © Holly Hayes.

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