The pride of lions -- stone and otherwise -- in Venice numbers in the thousands. For centuries the king of the beasts has served as the emblem of Italy’s gem of the sea. Lions are proud, regal, and powerful creatures -- all characteristics of Venice past and present. But the roots of Venice’s most prevalent symbol are tangled in religious tradition.Here in the centre stand the glass. Light
Is the lion that comes down to drink. There
And in that state, the glass is a pool.
Ruddy are his eyes and ruddy are his claws
When light comes down to wet his frothy jaws.
-- Wallace Stevens, "The Glass of Water"
Because until more recent centuries most people were illiterate, symbols were used to signify the important figures in the Bible and to help tell the important stories about these people.
Venice’s lion appears in a variety of media and forms from a mewling kitten to a menacing male. It is often, though not always, depicted holding a book which reads, "Peace to you, Mark, my evangelist." On each trip I take, I choose a photographic theme, and my theme for this trip was Venice’s lion. When I started to look closely, I found that lions stalk every campo, corte, and calle in Venice.
So, I have created a slideshow of some of the photos from my lion hunting in Venice. Enjoy!
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