Sunday, February 14, 2010

Persian Sphinx

I'm going through my old papers from 1996 and other years, in an attempt to make more space in my cluttered dwelling. I sort the papers out and what is unimportant, I throw out. But often I find little treasures I don't know I still had. This drawing is one of them. I found it only as a photocopy; I may have given the original away. In that era of my life I was working a lot with Persian people as I did my Zoroastrian research. I designed a lot of stuff using motifs from ancient Persia. This sphinx was one of these projects. It was meant to be a logo for a study group that my Zoroastrian professor was starting.

Persian sphinxes, unlike the Greek ones and similar to the Egyptian ones, are male. The Persian sphinx is a composite of four creatures, which appear in many ancient carvings and become the four symbolic creatures of the Bible. The body and tail is a lion, the head is a man, the head has horns and ears like a bull, and it has wings like an eagle. These creatures also signify the four directions and four traditional elements.

The original of this drawing is ink on Bristol board, about 5 inches square, 1996.


Tristan Alexander said...

Very nice! I di dnot realise that these incorportaed the four creatures that were used to represent the 4 evangelists! Wow! Even more proof that nothing in the Bible was original to it!

Pyracantha said...

It is a very common misconception especially in anti-religious and atheist criticism, that if the Bible or some other religious text or beliefs borrow from a previous religion, they are "stealing" and dishonest and the religion is thus invalid.

In reality, all human cultures build on previous cultures, and all religions build on what was there previously. This is not a dishonest process. It is recycling. Don't you want to be ecological and recycle? The same goes for cultural and spiritual artifacts. In the case of current religions, they are almost all post-consumer recycled material.