Sunday, August 16, 2009
A monster of a different color
Actually, we have two monsters here: a mermaid and an unorthodox griffin. This painting is by Paul Ranson (1864-1909), one of Les Nabis. Its title is always given as Hippogriffe. Not to quibble, but a hippogriff, strictly speaking, is the offspring of a griffin and a mare, and has the limbs of a horse. As you can see, this guy's back legs have the feline characteristics of a traditional griffin, while his front legs end in cloven hooves like a deer or goat. To further confuse matters, he has a man's face. There's no telling who his mama was.
The mermaid seems unperturbed about his pedigree as she basks in his virile aura, but I don't have high hopes for this budding romance. She'll never fly, and I doubt he can swim. This can't end well.