A King that shows Mercy?

by Daniel Mackie August 09, 2012

Lion with natural habitat inside the shape of the body

Ancient Beast

The oldest stories of lions date back to some 32,000 years ago, they are represented in cave paintings in the south of france. More Morden, well about 620 and 560 BC. Aesop, the greek slave and story-teller wrote a fable, The Lion and the Mouse, the lion learns that mercy brings its reward, that there is no being so small that it cannot help a greater. You guessed it, the mouse saves the day. The lion being king of the heap threatens to eat the mouse, but the mouse begs not to be eaten, stating that he is an unworthy prey and would bring the lion no honour. The lion does not eat the mouse and is later rewarded for his mercy when he is caught in a trap set by hunters. The mouse notices the lions plight and gnaws through the traps ropes setting the lion free.

Golden pelt

 Another popular story is the greek myth about Heracles and the Nemean lion. Heracles famously killed the Nemean lion bare handed. It was the first of his “twelve Labours” which were set by King Eurystheus. Heracles discovered that the lions pelt had protective property when the his arrow bounced harmlessly off the creature’s thigh. So he blocked one of the two entrances to the beast’s cave, strode in the other one and battled the creature bare handed. He killed the lion but lost a finger in the process. the hero Heracles is often represented wearing the lionskin.

You can see this painting in progress in my earlier post. I wanted to capture the king like status of the lion so the kind of art deco shape was a good starting point, also the perspective of looking across the grassy plain to mt kilimanjaro helps. Big mane as well. Lots of use of Quinacridone gold in this watercolour, it’s got to be one of my favourite colours.

Buy Cards and prints at Daniel’s shop The DM Collection




Daniel Mackie
Daniel Mackie

Author



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News / Work in progress / Mythology

Pelican in Progress

by Ariella Medeiros January 16, 2020

Strange looking birds pelicans!  I wanted to simplify the shape and try and get some balance going on with the body and the bil

Read More

A Pelican in Her Piety

by Harry Miller January 15, 2020

To reach the afterlife in ancient Egypt you must first deal with the trappings of the underworld.  Here you will have to contend with various Gods, monsters, gatekeepers, and ultimately prove your worth to Osiris, the Lord of the underworld.

Read More

Top 10 Woodland Animals- Facts and Stories

by Daniel Mackie January 05, 2020

Here are ten interesting narratives about Woodland Animals with references to their place in our culture. Some are form ancient mythologies like the owls and their wisdom,  and others like the ‘The Fox and the Crow’. which tell us to be cautious of flattery!

Read More