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This whimsical take on the Rat King folklore was created with ink, oil pastels, colored pencils and 18K gold (for the crown) on Arches Hot Press 140-lb watercolor board. 16 × 20 inches.
Thus sayeth Wikipedia:
“Rat kings are phenomena said to arise when a number of rats become intertwined at their tails, which become stuck together with blood, dirt, ice, excrement or simply knotted. The animals reputedly grow together while joined at the tails. The numbers of rats that are joined together can vary, but naturally rat kings formed from a larger number of rats are rarer. The phenomenon is particularly associated with Germany, where the majority of instances have been reported. Historically, there are various superstitions surrounding rat kings, and they were often seen as an extremely bad omen, particularly associated with plagues.”
This is actually my second attempt on the subject matter. My earlier attempt, which I stopped work upon, was acrylic and oil pastels on wood panel, but I got frustrated with it and created this piece instead. I think I may return to the wood panel version and finish it as it had a slightly darker vibe to it, while this one I feel is more whimsical.