Fine Art Tuesday

(I’m sneaking this one in under the wire. Today was MRI Day. Preliminary results aren’t showing much if I read them correctly.)

I’ve always had a fascination with Foo Dogs. Sculptures of Foo Dogs began in ancient China, but their use expanded to Japan and other Asian cultures over time. Foo Dogs are actually symbolic lions, and their use was originally as guardians of temples, palaces and other important buildings. Properly seen in pairs, one is male, usually seen on the right with a ball (said to represent the world) under his paw and one female, seen on the left with a puppy (or cub, said to represent nature or nurture) under her paw. Foo Dogs were originally an outdoor display, but in modern US usage are normally seen indoors, and in very small sizes when compared to those found outdoors.

Foo Dogs vary in style from culture to culture. The ones pictured are a Chinese style. While I’m normally more partial to Japanese styles, in Foo Dogs I tend toward the Chinese.

Current uses are not always in keeping with tradition. One site mentioned using them as bookends. Those had better be some very special books if you ask me.

I’ve long wanted a pair of Foo Dogs to sit either at the end of our driveway or beside the front steps. Mrs. Freeholder thinks differently. So a small pair graces my bedroom, keeping me safe from things that go bump in the night. Well, them and a 9mm pistol.

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