Turmwächter oder letzter Baumeister der Karlsbrücke?
In reference to the findings of Romuald Kaczmarek published in this issue of Umění, Ivo Hlobil confirms that are accurate. Moreover, these findings could help to solve some questions connected with the interpretation of the Watchman. Without the latch in his hand the Watchman may not have been a watchman at all. The sculptor may have been depicting a man of some other profession. The monkey on the figure’s back represents the ‘werkmeister’ in the dwarf gallery in the east choir in Worms Cathedral. That figure has his right hand tucked behind his belt and in his left is holding a drafting triangle (Winkelmaß). Kurt Gerstenberg saw in this a symbol of the obsession with work and the scepticism of the ‘werkmeisters’. Anton Legner wrote about the metaphor of torment (Quälgeist) and about how the monkey has always been a synonym for vice and sin. In Bern the link between stonemasons and monkeys is interpreted positively. Stonemasons were for their mimetic skills referred to as ‘Affen Gottes’, while the block of stone prior to its being worked on was called ‘der Aff’. Prague’s Watchman may have portrayed the last of the mediaeval builders of Charles Bridge.