"Lionheart" 24x36 oil on canvas.
The first new piece for my solo show "Noble Beasts" opening April 5th, 2019, at Downtown Books and News in Asheville, North Carolina.
King Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart, ruled England for 10 years, but only spent six months of that time in his country. For the majority of his reign, Richard was off fighting the crusades. His most famous battle was the battle for the Holy Land, where he is said to have fought valiantly against Saladin. His prowess in war earned him the name "Lionheart."
The male lion's primary job is to patrol and protect their territory. Indeed, King Richard took his territory in hand, usurping his father, and fought to not only rule England but to spread the Christian faith wherever his sword would reach.
Though he was a hero to Christians and the English, King Richard was likewise a terror to Jews and Muslims.
Unlike the male lion, who is known to be affectionate and loyal to his pride, it would seem that Richard was most concerned with war and conquest. It is said that he even jokingly proclaimed that he would sell London if he could.
Richard found his end when one of his own soldiers shot him with a crossbow, as revenge for killing his family.
Painting inspired by the 19th-century portrait of Richard the Lionheart by Merry-Joseph Blondel.