18 April 2010

"Angel lust" immortalized in bronze

"Angel lust" is postmortem priapism, typically seen in males who have died via strangulation.  That process appears to be depicted in the Parisian monument to Victor Noir.
A life-size bronze statue was sculpted by Jules Dalou to mark his grave, portrayed in a realistic style as though he had just fallen on the street, dropping his hat which is depicted beside him. The sculpture has a very noticeable protuberance in Noir's trousers. This has made it one of the most popular memorials for women to visit in the famous cemetery. Myth says that placing a flower in the upturned top hat after kissing the statue on the lips and rubbing its genital area will enhance fertility, bring a blissful sex life, or, in some versions, a husband within the year. As a result of the legend, those particular components of the oxidized bronze statue are rather well-worn.
You learn something every day.

Photo credit to Gyrus, via Futility Closet.


  1. When I was at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, there was a large Bronze map of the coastline which must have been twenty feet long. Nearly all of it was the oxidized green that one would expect, save for two spots, rubbed to a golden sheen as tourist after tourist touches the map and says, "Here's where we are" and "Here's where the Rangers climbed up." I'm always surprised at examples like these when it seems that being touched more often by more hands actually makes something cleaner. A perfect example of the difference between clean and shiny.

  2. A rather disgraceful example of the low-end of human nature. The bronze work is exceptional, but the notion that so many people would find it necessary to actually touch the private region of the depiction of a dead man is beyond my wildest imagination. It's pathetic, abjectly disrespect, and perverse. Robbing the memorial of its original intent, it serves as a visual reminder of one of the qualities of human nature which I loathe and despise.

  3. are you really a Doctor, Dreisdale? if so why so much hate for humanity?


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