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On 18.08/2010 this image has had 2015 views, 84 Favourites and 277 comments.

Winner in The Photo Manipulators Mythical Creatures Challenge

Second Place in the ‘All In Editing’ Challenge

Featured in The Top Favourites Group

Pick of The Week in Digital Artists United

This was created especially for the Photo Manipulators Group Mythological Creatures Challenge

It was created in Photoshop CS4. Many layers of my own textures were blended together for the background. The horse and man were morphed and the wings added. Much blending and painting and then subtle textures and colour- fill layers added afterwards.
I am indebted to the following artists for their fabulous stock…
Horse
Man
……………………………………………………………….

The music that was running around in my head all the time I was creating this image was “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.
The words are just so apt for The Centaur!

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy (Poor boy)
I need no sympathy
Because I’m easy come, easy go
Little high, little low
Any way the wind blows
Doesn’t really matter to me, to me


The centaur is a mythological creature. Its head, arms, and chest are those of a human and the rest of its body, including four legs, hindquarters, and a tail is like that of a horse.

There are also deer-centaurs, dog-centaurs, and the Gaelic androcephalous or man-headed horse. Both Greeks and Etruscans sometimes painted a centaur-like animal with the entire body of a human rather awkwardly attached in various ways to the lower or back parts of a horse.

Origin

Presence and illustrations of centaurs date back to Assyria (2000 BC) and India (3000 BC). Some have traced the Greek centaur origins back to the Gandharvas who in Vedic mythology drove the horses from the Sun but it is now accepted that they were a primitive and rough population of horsed shepherds from Thessalony. According to Greek tradition, there are two families of centaurs. The more numerous and unruly centaurs are those born of the union of Ixion, King of the Lapithae and a cloud which Zeus disguised as his own wife, Hera, whom Ixion had bragged of having relations with.

Chiron who was the like the above centaurs in appearance only fathered a different race of centaurs, sober, learned and studious. His father was Cronus, the Titan and his mother was Philyra, an Oceanid (or ocean nymph). He was a famous physician and teacher and was renowned for his skill in hunting, medicine, music, and the art of prophecy. Taught by Apollo and Diana, Chiron went on to tutor the greatest Greek warriors, Aesculapius, Jason, Hercules, and Achilles.

Powers

Centaurs lived in herds on Mt. Pelion in Thessaly, Greece, and were a plague to the people around them. They went about drunk, eating raw flesh, trampling crops, and raping female humans. The intellectual parts they inherited from humankind left them ignorant and yet cunning.

The Centaurs were creatures that were sometimes very hostile towards humans. They were always involved in brawls and battles. Often Zeus would send the Centaurs to punish gods and humans who had offended him. The hostility between man and Centaurs is said to have originated when the Centaurs were invited to their stepbrother’s (Pirithous), wedding celebration. At the feast Eurytion, one of the Centaurs, becoming intoxicated with the wine, attempted to offer violence to the bride; the other Centaurs followed his example, and a dreadful conflict arose in which several of them were slain. This is the celebrated battle of the Lapithae and Centaurs, a favorite subject with the sculptors and poets of antiquity.

Symbol

The wicked centaurs are the antithesis of the knight and the horseman. Instead of mastering or taming their instincts, these centaurs are ruled by them. They symbolize violent lust, adultery, brutality, vengefulness, heretics, and the Devil. They represent the struggle within each heart between good and evil, moderation and excess, passion and propriety, forgiveness and retaliation, belief and unbelief, god and beast.

Centaurs may be seen in pictures of St. Anthony Abbot who met both a centaur and a satyr when searching for St. Paul the Hermit in the desert. According to some legends, this centaur was the Devil himself.

Chiron is known as the wisest of all Centaurs. He did not depict the regular character of a Centaur; he just had the same body of those creatures. To the Greeks he was a close representation of a saint. He was a father figure to many of the gods’ children. They were given to him so he could teach them great knowledge of the world. Chiron represents the positive combination of man’s animal and spiritual natures. As early Christians strove to modernize ancient pagan symbolism with Church teaching, the combination of the spiritual and the animal natures in the centaur-archer caused this image of Apollo and the sun to become a representation of Christ, the God-Man.

From http://monsters.monstrous.com/centaurs.htm

Anna and Robert have only recently moved to Kent, having spent six years living France where they first embarked on wedding photography. They are passionate about photography, and have a real love for shooting weddings, gaining so much pleasure and fun from these special days.

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Comments

  • Richard Hamilton-Veal
    Richard Hamilt...almost 5 years ago

    WOW.

    Awesome work Anna.

    Happy New Year to you and Bob.
    xx

  • Thanks so much Richard, and a happy new year to you both too.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • Edward Denyer
    Edward Denyeralmost 5 years ago

    Excellent Anna, excellent. – Ted

  • Thanks so much Edward, I am so pleased that you like it.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • Irene  Burdell
    Irene Burdellalmost 5 years ago

    There is just one word for this Brilliant.
    Happy New Year to you both xx

  • Thanks so much Irene, I am so pleased that you like it. Happy New Year to you too.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • JaneSolomon
    JaneSolomonalmost 5 years ago

    Wow…..I am totally blown away at your interpretation of ‘The Centuar’. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen being one of my all time favorites ever – very insightful link! Thank you for this marvellous treat. xx

  • Jane, what a lovely comment. Thank you – and particularly for the fave.
    cc

    – Anna Shaw

  • Lorraine Creagh
    Lorraine Creaghalmost 5 years ago

    Oh wow wow wow..this is fabulous Anna. I’m s excited that you’ve put this together.

    I love everything about it. The concept…the skill…the colours…ooooo….everything.

  • All down to you!! Thanks so much Lorraine, for this – and all your encouragement.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • Richard  Cubitt
    Richard Cubittalmost 5 years ago

    Absolutely fantastic!

  • Thanks so much Richard, and particularly for the fave.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • scottimages
    scottimagesalmost 5 years ago

    OH MY!!! You’ve outdone yourself my friend!! This is stunning!!! I’m so in awe of your skills. I was just telling Lorraine that my big task for this year is to teach myself to do better manips…..You’ve just set the benchmark.

  • Thanks Rosemary – for this, and for all your encouragement. Your wish is being catered for – and is winging its way over to you right now!! LOL.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • Hugh Fathers
    Hugh Fathersalmost 5 years ago

    Might fine image!! . . .

  • Thanks so much dear Hugh, and particularly for the fave.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • -Whisper-
    -Whisper-almost 5 years ago

    Anna you are SO good! This is really amazing, there is much power in this image! Your background is just awesome and the light is just excellent! Wow, you are SO good!

  • You are such a sweetie, thank you so much.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • David's Photoshop
    David's Photoshopalmost 5 years ago

    Beautiful work Anna, very strong and powerful image, very well crafted.

    david xx

  • Thanks David – it was great fun to do.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

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