Lycaon

Dimensions:

The wolf: 20 x 23cm.
Full sculpture, base included: 40 x 29cm.

Description:

Lycaon is an elegant and original sculpture which brings the ancient Greek myth of Lycaon and the creation of wolves to life. It is a dual creation, featuring both Lycaon and the Hand of Zeus. As an original work, its authenticity stems from the fact there are no other recorded sculpted depictions of this particular legend.
This sculpture was rendered in clay by the artist and then cast in bronze.
It is a limited edition with only twelve(12)pieces made available worldwide.
The wolf features a vivid red patina over his body and silver patina on his face, crafted with the firing technique, which emphasizes his beautifully and realistically sculpted features.
The depiction of Lycaon stands on a metal sculpted Zeus’ thunderbolt, gilded with bright gold patina.
The entire work stands on a triangular beech wood base decorated with unique patterns created with the use of pyrography.
The myth this bronze sculpture was inspired by makes it a contemporary, elegant and one of a kind piece of decorative art, intended for demanding collectors and buyers who aspire to own something special, insightful and completely original.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to add this classy, authentic piece of art in your collection. It will bring a feel of luxury and style into your home and be the focus of attention.



This is the story of Lycaon, the man who became a wolf. A story lost within legend, so simple, but yet holds many hidden meanings and offers insight into the mystical world of ancient Greece.

Lycaon of Arcadia was the son of Pelasgus and Meliboea (otherwise known as the nymph Cyllene) and the first legendary king of Arcadia. Lycaon had 50 sons, with different women, and all of them became founders of cities. He was the father of Oenotrus and Callisto, the beautiful girl Zeus fell in love with and approached in the form of a bear. The simplest version of the myth describes him as a pious king who reigned over Arcadia from Lykosoura.


Lycaon was dear to Zeus and so the king of the gods decided to visit him. Lycaon’s enthusiasm and religious zeal were such that he decided not to merely sacrifice animals, but to also offer up a child on the altar. Zeus was enraged by this violent act and expressed his fury by striking the land with lightning. Lycaon got scared and hid himself away.
However, no one could hide from Zeus, and so he brought lightning down upon Lycaon and transformed him into a wolf. From that moment on, the cursed king wandered around mount Lykaion and whenever there was a full moon he howled for his forsaken kingdom and all he had lost.

Some of the myth variations claim that Lycaon sacrificed one of his own sons to show his reverence and respect to the gods, while others indicate that the transformation into a wolf was actually a ritual which took place in the depths of Arcadia, a form of sacrifice to Zeus; legend has it that, if the wolf did not eat human flesh for ten years, he would regain his human form. Regardless, the details of this story remain obscure and controversial.


There exists also an historical tradition that appears more advanced. According to Weizsäcker, Lycaon corresponds to a pre-Greek god to whom human sacrifices were made, and who bore a pre-Greek name similar to the wolf’s, from which the story of the transformation derives. Worship for him was replaced with that of the Greek Zeus and then Lycaon became something of an evil spirit that challenged the new deity by serving him human flesh to eat. Robertson Smith considers the sacrifices to Zeus in Lykaio cannibalistic celebrations of a tribe that had the wolf as their totem. Usener and others identify Lycaon with Zeus as the god of light, who slaughters his son Nyctimus (the dark) or is succeeded by his son, which is a metaphor for the eternal succession of day and night.


Regardless of the story’s true origins, it seems that the myth of Lycaon reveals some dark aspects about god worship in ancient Greece. Human sacrifice was not widespread in mythology, but it is mentioned in the myth of Tantalus, Thyestes and Tereus as well as Philomela in various obscure ways.
Is it possible that such tales emerged within an environment where human sacrifice was something unfamiliar? I think not. Each myth carries glimpses of truth within itself and we can learn much from it.
Tantalus was indeed the king of Phrygia, Thyestes ( Atreus’ brother) and Lycaon reigned in the Peloponnese, and Tereus in Thrace, areas which were not so civilized in mythical times. The werewolf legend fits in quite well with the myth of Lycaon, as well: a human, having committed an act of violence by spilling human blood, is punished by being transformed into a wolf.
It stands to reason that, given the heinous nature of such a crime and its metaphysical implications, the story’s contemporaries would hold Zeus, of all gods, responsible and inclined to such punishment.