Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D = Dragons in Paris - A to Z Blog Challenge

Dragon detail, at the Louvre - by DG Hudson

Dragon at the Louvre

Frozen in stone, the small Dragon in the photo above will forever peer over his wing at what's following him. If this is only the detail, what did the rest of the building look like? Bits of antiquity make us wonder at the imaginations of the people in ages past. Dragons of various sorts have appeared in different cultures and continue to exist in myth and legend today.


Dragon at the Arc de Triomphe

Marianne with Dragon on Cap, Arc de Triomphe - by DG Hudson

A Dragon in the Louvre Museum surprised me, but so did the dragon sitting atop Marianne's cap on the bust halfway up the stairs of the Arc de Triomphe.  She's one of the warriors in the large sculptural groupings of the support columns.  Marianne  is a recognized yet informal symbol of France, and sometimes goes by other names.  I'm not sure whether the dragon is supposed to be symbolic or decorative, and couldn't find too many references to it.  Marianne is exhorting the people to fight for liberty, not sure about the dragon. 


There are two distinct cultural traditions of Dragons: the European dragon and the Chinese dragon. Within those two traditions are several sub-types, varying by country.  France has its own dragon style as do several other cultures. The two  featured in this post seem to be in line with the French type.


2012, the Year of the Dragon

The dragon sign of the Chinese Zodiac is the most powerful of the 12 signs, one associated with high energy and prosperity.  2012 is considered especially favorable because it's the year of the Water Dragon, something that happens once every 60 years.


DG's Theme:  Paris, Etc.  (Art, Film, Places and People)

Interested in dragons? Nasty and fiery or mind-meld types?  Born in the year of the Dragon?  Please share in the comments.

*** Chinese Zodiak
Year of the Dragon, CBC News List of mythological dragon types Dragons