steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Cotswold Watch 2017

As you know, I've been watching The Ancient Magus' Bride as it's been broadcast, partly for the folklore and partly because I've been looking out for definitive proof that it is set in the Cotswolds. Yesterday, with Episode 9, I found it. In this episode, Chise and Angelica take a little bus trip, during which they come to this rather distinctive place:

ep 9 bourton on water bridge

I've only been there once (a rather disastrous birthday treat with my son) but even I know Bourton-on-the-Water when I see it, and sure enough here's the same view in reality:

Bourton-on-the-Water bridge

So, that's very pleasing. However, I would still welcome help pinning down this street scene:

chise and angelica bus trip 2 ep 9

[ETA: This has now been identified as Bourton High St]

bourton high street

And this church, set distinctively on a hill as it is:

ep 9 church

The other thing to note about the church is that the animators have coloured the (normally) stone tracery of the west window brown, as if it were made of wood. Of course, it may be that the church in question really is like this, but perhaps it's a case of what Gombrich called the adapated stereotype?

Once we pay attention to this principle of the adapted stereotype, we also find it where we would be less likely to expect it: that is, within the idiom of illustrations, which look much more flexible and therefore plausible.

The example from the seventeenth century, from the views of Paris by that well-known and skillful topographical artist Matthaus Merian, represents Notre Dame and gives, at first, quite a convincing rendering of that famous church. Comparison with the real building, however, demonstrates that Merian has proceeded in exactly the same way as the anonymous German woodcutter. As a child of the seventeenth century, his notion of a church is that of a lofty symmetrical building with large, rounded windows, and that is how he designs Notre Dame. He places the transept in the centre with four large, rounded windows on either side, while the actual view shows seven narrow, pointed Gothic windows to the west and six in the choir. Once more portrayal means for Merian the adaptation or adjustment of his formula or scheme for churches to a particular building through the addition of a number of distinctive features— enough to make it recognisable and even acceptable to those who are not in search of architectural information. If this happened to be the only document extant to tell us about the Cathedral of Paris, we would be very much misled.

Find that church, and the truth will set us free.
Tags: cotswolds project, nippon notes
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