Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Crazy Creatures Week," Day Three

Okay, for the mid-week installment of this exciting five-day extravaganza called "Crazy Creatures Week," I'm going to show you a drawing my #4 son did of a creature that isn't the product of his own creative juices, at least as far as the creature itself goes.  He drew today's featured creature without tracing or copying the work of any other artist, that's true; but the inspiration for it didn't come out of his very own head, the way most of the others I'm posting this week did.  The star of today's show is that famous mythological three-headed hound known as Cerberus, and here is my boy's interpretation of this fearsome beast (rendered in pencil at age 15).
In Greek and Roman mythology, Cerberus was always on the job as the loyal watchdog who guarded the gates that granted access and exit to the Underworld (also known as Hades).  With this scary-looking guy guarding the gates, it was a pretty sure thing that no one who ever crossed the river Styx would be able to escape back to the other side.  Not in one piece, anyway.

Cerberus rears its ugly heads in many works of ancient Greek and Roman literature, and also in works of both ancient and modern art.  He is said to be the offspring of Echidna, a hybrid half-man and half-serpent, and Typhon, a fire-breathing giant feared even by the powerful gods themselves.  He can be depicted with anywhere from two to 100 heads, but he is shown most often with three; some claim that these heads represent the past, the present, and the future, respectively, while others say they represent birth, youth, and old age

One thing the mythology experts agree upon, however, is that each of Cerberus' heads has an appetite for one thing, and one thing only: live meat.  YIKES!  You wouldn't want to mess with Cerberus, that's for sure!  And I think my talented son has captured the essence of Hades' intimidating watchdog with his usual skill and imagination.

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