Creatures of Representative Art
Many cultures have produced great artists who have made mythical or whimsical creatures seem real. The creative talent of these people makes it easy to imagine an impossible creature will suddenly fly over the horizon or come up out of the ground. These artists have taken the tales of their own cultures and presented them in many different ways. Painting is just one form where these creatures exist in the world. Sculpting has also been used to transform myths and legends into everyday reality.
The Chinese culture has long been a place where dragons exist. Their zodiac features many animals, including dragons. In ancient China, dragons were a symbol of determination and success. These creatures were painted on ceramics and woven into decorative cloth. The presence of a dragon represented a bold hero who would win out in the end. This hero would be intelligent, decisive and never stopped until the work was accomplished. Even though dragons do not exist in the real world, this creature represented important facets of mankind’s personality and search for excellence.
Painting and textiles are not the only ways mythical creatures are brought into the world. The Sphinx in Egypt is carved out of the rock of a plateau. There has never been a record of a lion with a man’s head in any part of the world, but some unknown ancient artist conceived this beast. The Sphinx represents wisdom and has the head of a Pharaoh. The body of the lion represents the strength of this creature. While not in existence anywhere on Earth, this creature has long been part of the dreams of man.
Dragons and sphinxes do not exist in the world today. They never have existed as far as mankind’s records have been kept. They have existed for centuries, even millennia, in the minds of artists and those who view their works. These creatures represent people and their dreams rather than their reality.