The Library

Animals > Griffins



This large French oak panel shows a rather free interpretation of a griffin on the right with the hind quarters of a lion and the head of an eagle.  Although the head of this one is somewhat ambiguous, the creature has a decidedly avian front leg. As part-eagle, part-lion, the griffin has an immense strength that can be used for good or for evil.  It acts as a guardian, is merciful and just, but it also has a propensity for tearing humans and horses apart.


In this panel it seems to be showing its magnanimity by offering a serpent to a stork, a reptile for which this bird searches endlessly in order to remove its poison.  Thus we arrive at the moral of the panel: the good man searches out and destroys evil to make the world a better place.