Animals in Art: Myths and Folklore

A Mermaid by Charles Murray Padday (1868 – 1954)
Cactus Cat by William Rebsamen
A Moonlight Phantasy by Hilda Hechle, ca. 1930
Water Dragon by Amy Sol, 2012
Rasselbock, a German version of the jackalope, by Julia Beutling, 2019
Circe by John Maler Collier, 1885
Statue of Kópakonan, “the Seal Woman” by Hans Pauli Olsen, raised August 2014. Read the folktale.
From “Il Pentamerone” by Warwick Goble, 1911
From the book The Usborne Guide to the Supernatural World, 1979
A priest performs last rites and communion for a dying female werewolf while her male partner watches. From the book Topographia Hibernica by Gerald of Wales, ca. 1188.
The Siren by Armand Point, 1897
Dragon by Petr Stuchlý
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2 thoughts on “Animals in Art: Myths and Folklore

  1. Absolutely love this collection, especially since I am a longtime mythology, fantasy and science fiction fan. The Werebeasts remind me of the Underpeople in Cordwainer Smith’s SF stories. They are animals genetically modified to varying degrees of humanity, and were a sort of slave class that did all the work. C’Mell the cat girl is one of the most important and loved characters in his stories. Cats in general are important in his worlds – in “The Game of Rat and Dragon”, telepathic cats team with humans to fight monsters in a kind of Hyperspace. The myth of Kopakonan the seal woman is interesting, and rather representative of not only how men often treat women, but also of how they treat nature. And that there are consequences for that. There are many tales of the Selkies or seal people in Norse and Celtic mythology, more than one about the relationship between seal women and human men. I am going to have a lot of fun exploring more about these artists and stories. Incidentally, Deviant Art has a lot of good animal art.

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