[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]


Related: hybrid - mythology - grotesque

Chimera (1972) - John Barth [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


In Greek Mythology, Chimera (Greek [Khimaira]; Latin, Chimæra) was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna.

Descriptions vary – some say she had the body of a goat, the hindquarters of a snake or dragon and the head of a lion, though others say she had heads of both the goat and lion, with a snake for a tail. All descriptions, however, agree that she breathed fire from one or more of her heads.

Her offspring by Orthros were the Sphinx and the Nemean Lion.

Chimera was finally defeated by Bellerophon with the help of Pegasus, the winged horse, at the command of King Iobates of Lycia. There are varying descriptions of her death – some say merely that Bellerophon ran her through on his spear, whereas others say that he fitted his spear point with lead that melted when exposed to Chimera's fiery breath and consequently killed her.

(Chimaira) is Greek for "billygoat" : behind the myth may be a real battle against a war-leader or bandit whose name or title or symbol was 'Billygoat'.

The term "chimera" or "chimeric" is often used metaphorically to describe things that have combined attributes from different sources. In genetics, for example, an organism or tissue created from two or more different genetic sources is called chimeric, as in transplant patients with organs from other donors. See Chimera (animal) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(creature) [Mar 2005]


Frescoes at the Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, Italy

As far as I can say, the only grotesque image that vaguely looks like to the original Chimera is one that appears on the frescoes of the first courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio, in Firenze. Painted by Marco da Faenza around 1565, more than ten years after the Chimera of Arezzo was discovered, it is a creature with the body of a lion, a serpentine tail and the head of a goat. Not exactly a classic Chimera but you can't avoid to think that it may have been directly inspired by it (after all, the original Chimera of Arezzo was just upstairs at that time). But, as we said, that fresco was painted when the novelty of the discovery was still felt. In later years of the post-renaissance period there is no visible influence of the Chimera of Arezzo on European art. --http://www.unifi.it/unifi/surfchem/solid/bardi/chimera/figurativechimera/ [Jun 2005]

See also: grotesque - grotesque art

your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

Managed Hosting by NG Communications