This week’s featured painting is “Fragment: Fu Lion” from 2009. It is done with oil on panel, and measures 3.5 x 2.5 inches.
This miniature painting (about the size of a credit card) depicts just one of the handles of an elaborate Chinese incense burner.
It’s in the form of a guardian lion – commonly known as a Fu Lion.
The earliest examples of Fu Lions were seen about 2000 years ago during the Han Dynasty of China. Believed to protect against evil forces, they were used to guard the entrances of palaces, temples, and tombs.
The resonance and interpretation of the symbolism varies – with some seeing strength and power in the fierce facial expressions, and others associating them with protection and good fortune.
The incense burning sits on my desk, and it’s a delight to see this little Fu Lion every single day.