In beginning this blog, I should perhaps start with an explanation. Now, I know you’re thinking, ‘what’s there to explain? I’ve been waiting my whole life for a blog about crappy lions in art,' but bear with me.
The other day my friend Will sent me this link that shows an 18th century lion, taxidermied by someone who had clearly never seen a lion before in his life.
Naturally, I thought the taxidermist was an artistic genius, but I also pointed out that this was a common fate for the lion in art. Especially in medieval to renaissance work, it always seems like most painters had never even seen a cat before, let alone a lion. Most of the time, it seemed like they were painting based on a description they got in the pub, from someone who knew someone whose cousin once slept with a girl who had seen a lion. From there, they did the best they could.
The lion: art’s great guessing game.
Thus, out of peer pressure, this blog was born.
Please enjoy the man/bear/pigs that follow.