Clonmacnois (Offaly)

The first-recorded figure at Clonmacnois is a tiny feet-to-ears acrobat on the chancel arch of the Romanesque Nuns' Church,
and is an unusually small example of a motif found on many French Romanesque corbel-tables.

Compare with the tiny figure on the near-contemporary Muiredeach's Cross at Monasterboice.


Below the little stylised acrobat is this interesting capital which might also be seen by the connoisseur of Romanesque
as a very stylised exhibitionist - or even a Luxuria figure.


More recently, this much larger and much later carving (now in on-site storage) came to light.
Its exhibitionism is most doubtful - unless it is a nano-phallic male.


This carving on the stump of the North Cross (pre-12th century) at the famous monastery has been interpreted on the one hand as the god Lug, and, on the other, as an early sheela-na-gig.

It is one of several enigmatic figures on Irish crosses, and has many artistic resonances - from India to France.

It belongs to the 'squatting' group of figures (see Lusty More and White Island) rather than to the exhibitionists.

See also Bredwardine, Kilmainham, and Monasterboice.