Heraldic Lion (Naturalistic Japanese Foo Dog)
This one is 4.5 cm tall, 4 cm long and 3 cm deep. There's no question as to its felinity, however, as its thick tail loops up boldly into the original Arabesque treble clef that first appeared suspended in mid-air above the Second Tabernacle of the 72 Mermaids for the Rhythm Method as a medieval birth-sign that this wild one was destined to become one of the greatest singing big-cats ever heard before the age of gramophones enabled us to capture such an amazing voice for later centuries to admire.
But there are many more clues to the magnitude of this carved singer's unforgettable personality that bestowed its blessing on the voice that we today would give our eye-teeth just to imagine we could hear. But if, as we have learned in our own time, the most profound wellspring of a singing voice that could even make steel girders cry is the quality of undeserved misery that the singer had to cope with growing up, this excruciatingly underprivileged feline must have out-suffered the Leaning Tower of Pisa in its century and will continue thus until the Pisa actually falls.
Her two forelegs are more expressive than the Rodin Thinker in France and Michel's David's hand and furrowed brow. I'm sorry that I have no way to estimate this carving's age, so no way to compare the Foo Dog, Thinker and Stone-hurler works in the flow of their respective traditions. Both forelegs seem double-jointed, each in its own way, with the right one firmly pressed against the ground and blooming toward the shoulder into swooping, achingly musical curves, in eternal testimony to that inner voice we'll never ever hear. Yet the left foreleg is totally different, with the foreleg hanging out a limp paw with no expressive statement toward anything, itself held out by a burly muscle-hand extending directly from its shoulder muscle-mass, as if it were holding out a boo-boo to silently confess one of the psycho-historical roots of that heart-rending mezzo-soprano whispering hauntingly across the ages: "Look here, at my wounded paw. But never pity me, for I'd have given it and any other afflictions none may ever know to have the voice that I was granted in return."
The greatest suffering of all, however, emanates from the creature's tired face, especially on the left side, where its vulnerable cheek, jaw and temple musculature emerges to pick a way back through natural history as the archetypal swan in snow boots. Behind that cramped and broken swan's neck the left eye sinks within its dusky cave mouth to give the whole profile an eternal tragic shadowed hue.
But the monstrous, rigid right side contrasts all the more starkly against that plaintive left-behind expression on the left. The right-side jaw and cheekbone are too harsh, too hateful, pure un-weeping steel, where the other cheek still suffers all for love. And furthermore, its right sub-brow hollow has been home, it seems, to a rogue hermit, gazing, wall-eyed, helplessly upward, as eternal witness to the insurmountable abyss separating the foo dog's earthbound genes from the heavenly aspiration shrined in her undying, but now hopelessly inaudible voice.
At this ultimately despairing monocular paralysis the art and music historian's pen, humbled and humiliated, stumbles, stops, staggers, stoops, and finally falls silent.
Item ID: 2154
Member since Sep 2010
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