On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 01

Tail coiled, claws extended, and feet braced, this dragon is a powerful counterpart to the lion opposite. Medieval beasts, whether real or
imaginary, were often imbued with symbolic meaning, as they are in animal fables today. It is not always possible, however, to reconstruct their specific intention in a given monument, and such beasts could be for “aesthetic delight,” as one thirteenth-century archbishop commented. The monastery from which this fresco comes was abandoned in 1841.

#84. Dragon

Dragon, Fresco, mounted on canvas, Spanish

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