Pazuzu, Circa 8th-7th Century BCE

∫ “In Assyrian and Babylonian mythology, Pazuzu (sometimes Fazuzu or Pazuza) was the king of the demons of the wind, and son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms and drought… Pazuzu is often depicted as a combination of diverse animal and human parts. He has the body […]

Painting is Loving ___________ Benozzo Gozzoli, “The Three Magi,” detail, 1459-1461

∫ We post a detail of Benozzo Gozzoli’s opulent cycle of paintings executed in 1459-61 for Cosimo de Medici’s private chapel. You can read more about Benozzo Gozzoli’s “Magi Chapel,” on the Wikipedia article, linked here. The image above is a screengrab from Andrew Graham-Dixon’s “The Medici, Makers of Modern Art” … in the previous post.

Fig. 71: Four Beasts

Fig. 71 – The apocalyptic animals in the Bible (Ezekiel/Revelations). The four beasts (a lion with eagle wings, a leopard with four heads, a bear and a beast with eleven horns) signify the four world monarchies. British Museum, London. MS Add 11695, f. 240r. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel. Daniel chapter 7, verses 2-10. Daniel’s vision […]

The mysterious Guennol Lioness – 3.5 divine inches … for an ungodly $57.2 million

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “The Guennol Lioness is a 5,000-year-old Mesopotamian statue found near Baghdad, Iraq. Depicting a muscular anthropomorphic lioness-woman, it sold for $57.2 million at Sotheby’s auction house on December 5, 2007. The sculpture had been acquired by a private collector, Alastair Bradley Martin, in 1948 from the collection of Joseph Brummer, and had been on display at Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City from that […]

Painting is Loving ____________ Martha and the Tarasque

“… A further legend relates that Martha then went to Tarascon, France, where a monster, the Tarasque, was a constant threat to the population. The Golden Legend describes it as a beast from Galicia; a great dragon, half beast and half fish, greater than an ox, longer than an horse, having teeth sharp as a sword, and horned on either side, […]

The “Michigan Dogman” a strange creature with a canine-like head and human-like body, that walks upright, is sighted in Ottowa County … again

Here we go, barking up the Tree, again… Legends abound of strange creatures that walk the land, since … well, since people have shared stories around a fire. There are whole websites devoted to the subject: google “cryptozoology” and you get 1,310,000 hits. We recently wrote about the strange creature known as “The Beast of Gauvedan” […]

A Lioness, seated upon a throne, as Queen

“An Egyptian Caricature” engraving on limestone, bought in Thebes, by Dr. Henry Abbott who interpreted the three thousand year old picture “as a lion seated upon a throne, as king, receiving from a fox, personating a high-priest, an offering of a goose and a fan.” (via Gutenberg.org) ∫

“The Tigress.” The Bronze Hunan Chimera at the Cernuschi Museum in Paris

Enrico Cernuschi was born from a wealthy Milanese family, in 1821, and in his youth became an Italian politician. His ardent support of Italian independence led him to escape to France, where he changed his first name to Henri, became a major French banker, economist and Asian art collector. He travelled far and wide in […]

Happy Ishtar everyone!

Ishtar (pronounced /ˈɪʃtɑːr/; Transliteration: DIŠTAR; Akkadian: 𒀭𒈹  ;  Sumerian 𒀭𒌋𒁯) is the East SemiticAkkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, war, love, and sex.[1] She is the counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna, and is the cognate for the Northwest Semitic Aramean goddess Astarte. Read the rest about the the Goddess and the spring fertility festival apparently celebrating her – rabbits and eggs being rather upfront symbols for … fertility – on the Wikipedia article linked here. Is there a connection […]

Manticore, Persian legendary creature

The first is from Edward Topsell’s The History of Four-Footed Beasts of 1607, which we link to here. The second is from the 13th c. Rochester Bestiary. We also link to the Wikipedia page on “The Manticore” here. ∫

Gryphons Attacking a Horse

“Scythian art is art, primarily decorative objects, such as jewelry, produced by the nomadic tribes in the area known classically as Scythia, which was centred on the Pontic-Caspian steppe and ranged from modern Kazakhstan to the Baltic coast of modern Poland and to Georgia. This art is also known as steppes art and was produced […]

Lion Attacking a Horse

Greek, 325–300 B.C. Restored in Rome in 1594 Marble 150 x 250 cm Courtesy of the Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale – Musei Capitolini “The work was first mentioned in an archival document in 1300. By 1347, the sculpture was prominently displayed on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, the seat of the city’s civic […]

The Lion of St. Mark – Andrei Rublev

Watch “Andrei Rublev” Tarkovsky’s epic film on Youtube, we link to a previous post, here. Previously on Art is Life: The Lion of St. Mark — Vittore Carpaccio Kirtimukha, Face of Glory, (a monstrous disembodied head glaring or grinning down at you, from Hindu Temples) one of the Asuras – a demon, cousin of the […]

“La bɜt dy ʒevɔdɑ̃” … – ‘The Beast of Gévaudan, The True Story,’ of … that which terrorized south-central France from 1764 to 1767

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: The Beast of Gévaudan (French: La Bête du Gévaudan; IPA: [la bɜt dy ʒevɔdɑ̃], Occitan: La Bèstia de Gavaudan) is a name given to man-eating wolf-like animals alleged to have terrorized the former province of Gévaudan (modern day département of Lozère and part of Haute-Loire), in the Margeride Mountains in south-central […]

Waterlily Jaguar: “he that takes by force or burns (as an occupation)”

The image is from Justin Kerr’s amazing database of Maya vases – the photos are taken as the vase rotates, thereby giving us a flat image. The Catholics destroyed almost all of the books during the first years of their occupation – only 4 codices are known to exist. These photographs are priceless documents that […]