Just spotted this — http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Putto. It doesn’t really fall under the category of Serendipitous Sightings or Travels but I’ll put it in both anyhow.
All three books forming The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories Trilogy have their own web pages.
Here’s a rather lengthy clip (for a blog post) from “Contagion Collectors“, the second mini-novel extracted from “The Thousand Days of Disbelief“.
Plus, he [4-year old Dire] could still hear Drang [his more like waddle-away than runaway dachshund] raising cacophonous Cain, as his father might alliterate, albeit in his own language. But it was already sounding much fainter than it did when it woke him up.
Ergo, his ever faithful, but clearly dumb as they come hound must be dutifully chasing some bogie or another farther and farther away from their familial sanctuary. Dumb as they come wasn’t an insult either. Drang had to be at least that dumb because he’d somehow missed the bogie in his bedroom.
He couldn’t figure out how come he couldn’t see through the spirit. Weren’t spooks always supposed to be transparent? That’s what his dad claimed and his dad never lied, not even when he was making things up for story time. Then again, how was the boy to know there was nothing of the spirit world about the evidently non-nightmarish creature flitting about his room fetching his boots and warmest clothing, the one who’d been sitting on his chest sucking in his breath when the increasingly distant barking first roused him?
His sort were earthborn; hence mainly earthen if not precisely earth-made. They didn’t have souls; which strictly speaking was a prerequisite for being a spirit. He did have a mind, though – unless, being soulless, he was more correctly referred to as ‘it’. Regardless of semantics, if the word ‘spirit’ could be defined as the melding of a mind with a soul, then having a mind was the other requirement. A mind and, a body to go with it, definitely made him, at the minimum, possibly chthonic. A pair of wings contributed to make him specifically chthonic.
The pudgy putto, as demonologists identified his aberrant species, looked a lot younger than he did. If it weren’t for the spiffy, embroidered outfit, dinky shoulder-wings and receding hairline, what almost contrarily made him look nearly as old as the boy’s Hungarian-born goldsmith of a father, he’d have thought he was a baby angel.
“Get dressed, kiddo,” the green-eyed, no doubt ne’er-do-well bird-brat demanded, as he passed him his stuff. “Your fiddlehead doctors may diagnose your condition dire, but it sniffs to me that you’ll get better soon. That means we’ve got to hurry. Otherwise we’ll waste all that good contagion.”
As semi-sort of noted here, Contagion’s putto was at least partially inspired by Albrecht Durer’s Melancholia. He’s wearing clothes, though. He’s also possessed by Sinistral Envy, who became the Prime Sinistral of Satanwyck after Contagion’s time.
[NOTE: the sequence is set in Nuremberg, specifically within the publicly accessible area outside the Kaiser’s great hall. I’ve been there, albeit clearly not in the 15th Century. It’s not far from the Sinwell Tower, its original keep. (As noted in Contagion, ‘Sinwell’ meant round or around in High German, not ‘sin well’, let alone good, in any other language including Sedon Speak.)]
I’ve seen Durer’s Melancholia in a couple of places on my travels. Rather, I’ve seen prints of it, as it’s a woodcut. A more famous, make that notorious, putto is Brussels’ oddly beloved Manneken Pis.
I’ve seen him, too. And his sister, Jeanneke Pis — who’s not quite so bold, hiding as she does not far away, in a darkened alley near a sign for Delirium Tremens pink elephant. Neither of them have wings, though.
The Visit Brussels website describes Manneken and Jeanneke as playmates rather than brother and sister. And, yes, it shows Manneken mostly clothed. Probably to avoid lawsuits and/or the online porn police.
Just to add an element of, what, disgust (maybe, especially if you’re not Belgian), the website notes:
On special occasions, brass-bands would play and Manneken Pis would be hooked up to different flavours of Belgian beer, which is poured from his fountain tip and given out to the public.
I’ll leave it to you to determine what it means by ‘fountain tip’.