Ink and W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
See my SATURDAY CHAT on ‘Cats of Africa’
Renowned for its majesty and nicknamed “the king of the jungle,” the lion (Panthera leo) possesses both beauty and strength. For me their eyes are their most striking feature and can speak volumes. Looking straight into the eyes of a lion is a deeply moving experience and when that happened to me during my one-and-only, EVER, visit to a zoo, I saw disdain, don’t-actually-care, boredom and a deep sorrow that will stay with me for life. To me, zoo’s are akin to pet shops. Some people might argue they serve a purpose, but that’s a discussion I’d rather not enter into.
Lions vary in colour but typically sport light yellow-brown coats. Mature male lions are unique among big cats due the thick brown or black manes that encircle their necks and protect them while fighting.
The lion, like the eagle, symbolizes dominance or dominion. It is important in heraldry and in fable is referred to as “king of beasts.” Its astrological sign is Leo, and has the sun for its planet. The basis of the association between the lion and the sun is the animal’s strength, its golden-brown colour, and the ray-like mane of the male. Similarly as the eagle, the lion is believed to be able to look straight into the sun without blinking.
The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia with an endangered remnant population in Gir Forest National Park in India, having disappeared from North Africa and South-west Asia in historic times. The Lion’s conservation status is THREATENED VU (Vulnerable)."