Have you packed away your winter coat yet for this year? Or is it still hanging the hall, just in case? It's almost the time when spring turns to summer and the winds are a welcome breeze, not a force to wrap up against!
What's this got to do with Daniel's illustration of a rather elegant Horse? Well, the ancient Greeks (a big influence on Daniel's work!) believed the winds were brought through the earth by swift running horses. Though, Zephyrus, herald of the spring winds, is the only one you'd welcome. The other three Anemoi, horse-gods of the winds, brought winter freezes or autumn storms destroying crops in their path.
Zephyrus, on the other hand, brings the warmer air and has a bountiful partnership being married to the goddess of flowers and father to their son the god of fruit. Now that sounds a recipe for a happy home!
Except, as is the way of Greek gods, Zephyrus is not content with monogamy. He was also linked to the goddess of the rainbow and sired Apollo's horse with yet another. Zephyrus was also (sort of) responsible for the creation of the hyacinth when he accidentally killed a beautiful youth, the object of unrequited love, in a jealous rage. It seems many dying Greek youths were turned to flowers!
Whatever the colourful past of the Greek gods, Daniel's colourful equine creature perfectly evokes the early summer ... I can even spot a wind-swept flower on his haunches.
Shop Daniel's Horse design - available as greeting card or art print.
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The earliest depictions of the use of the heart symbol is believed to derive from the ancient culture of Cyrene, a North African city which was founded by the Greeks in 631 BC, and then later ruled by the Romans.
There’s a lot of ancient mythical beasts which seem pretty isolated, unique to a country’s culture, or even to a specific region. Others, like mermaids, dragons, and giants, are intercultural, being known by many. The Phoenix is one of these mythical superstars, and was known by the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, and even by the Chinese.
In the year 1500 BC, the Israelites who had settled in Egypt had significantly grown in numbers. So much so that the Pharaoh at the time grew fearful of them: paranoid that they would eventually take over. Forgetting that it was actually an Israelite by the name of Joseph - yes, the guy with the groovy coat - who had guided the Egyptian people away from famine a few hundred years earlier, the Pharaoh made all the Israelites slaves. Things then took a most heinous turn when the Pharaoh ordered the midwives to drown all male Hebrew babies at birth.