Monday, August 27, 2007

The Lions of Bordeaux...

When I visited the chateaux and vineyards in Bordeaux
I was knocked over by the profusion of stone lions everywhere.
No wonder!
The kingly lion is sitting right on Bordeaux' coat of arms. As well as guarding so many entry ways of the finest chateaux..For example at Chateau Haut-Brion.Now here's a funny thing. Where I live, in Astoria, NY
(just 9 minutes from Bloomingdales on the N train -most multi-culti town in the USA) there is a profusion of LIONS!
38th street is particularly littered with these stone lions!Only between Broadway and 34th Avenue,
in case you should go looking for a pride or two.This has set me thinking...
Have some Bordeauxoise winemakers moved to Astoria
? ? ?Will we soon see some vineyards springing up on my turf?
Did I mention that Bordeaux is also inundated with stone sphinxes?
The French sphinx has a coiffed head and the bust of a young woman.
Often she is wearing ear drops and pearls

and her body is naturalistically rendered as a recumbent lion. Chateau Margaux has an impressive pair guarding their stairway entry.Chateaux de Malle makes a lovely Sauturnes, well protected by a brace of sphinx.
I'm wondering when an infusion of sphinxes are coming to Astoria? Could they come to my street? We could definitely use a few sphinxes on 31st Avenue.


  1. These are some fabulous paintings. I love paintings of cottages and castles and done in watercolor they are much more interesting.
    Love the Lions at the gates of the yards.. they may have small fronts but they seem mighty with the lions there. ;-) This was a fun post today.
    Cris in OR

  2. Anonymous1:38 PM

    I always loved the lions at the entry of the NY Public library. These are great. Maybe Astoria just has more francophiles than you realize, Carol! They just want reminders of Bordeaux...Yes, it is a fun post. Great sketches!

  3. you live right near me in astoria! how crazy! lions are also huge in portugal where my bf is from and we have them all over 26th street too!

  4. I just love how lions always make things look so impressive. They look so majastic, I love how you carried that through in your paintings. Thanks for giving inspiration once again.

  5. I love lions! Did you see my lion necklace? Hmmm...sphinxes...that's an interesting jewelry idea too. How about griffins? Seen any of them lately?

  6. Anonymous3:53 PM

    I've seen those lions dozens of times here and there and never given them a thought.
    You have taken the blinkers from mine eyes, Madame!

  7. Beautiful paintings and some great lions!
    Which ruler wouldn't want to vest himself with the symbol of bravery, strength, ferocity, and valor? Stupid me who thought lions were so common only in Vienna, with the Habsburg's coat of arms showing a lion on a gold field (and that almost for a thousand years by now).
    I wonder what those sphinxes symbolize in the European context.

  8. Anonymous6:24 PM

    I LOVE these!
    More sketches please!

  9. what a wonderful pleasure to stumble upon your blog while searching for pigment stores in Florence...(know any). Your blog is beautiful!

  10. Thank you Michael!
    Try Zecchi's on Via dello Studio 19R for pigments.

  11. lovely and going so well with my Lion Coffee!

  12. The Duke of Northumberland's Lion has a tail that sticks straight out and it's very weird. He is the Duke that let Harry Potter use his castle as Hogwarts.
    I LOVE your Lion Paintings so very regal.

  13. Anonymous12:36 PM

    okay. I am drooling. Lions and Chateau Margaux...chic hip cool carved in antique wonderland, painted to perfection. Your blog is a slice of heaven.


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