Old Masters Sanguine Drawing of Putti and a Lion
4 3/4 x 3 1/4 (8 5/8 x 7 1/4 frame) inches
An utterly charming depiction in sanguine of 5 putti and a lion on a leash. Excellent details and condition. The innermost frame is period and probably original to the piece with the addition of a later frame added for style.
Though the lion, known as the Marzocco, was the symbol of of a free Republic of Florence, it also carried many biblical meanings as well.
As such, That a lion denotes the good of celestial love and the derivative truth, in its power, and also that in the opposite sense it denotes the evil of the love of self in its power, is evident from passages in the Word where a lion is mentioned. That it denotes the good of celestial love is evident in John:--
"Behold the lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath conquered to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof (Rev. 5:5);"
Here the Lord is called a lion from the omnipotence belonging to His Divine love and the Divine truth thence derived. In other passages in the Word, Jehovah or the Lord is compared to a lion, as in Hosea:--
"They shall go after Jehovah; He shall roar like a lion; for Be shall roar, and the sons shall come with honor from the sea (Hosea 11:10)."
Even more interesting still is the association with Cherubs (or perhaps Putti as they are closely related)...
"Thus said Jehovah unto me, Like as when the lion roareth, and the young lion over his prey, if a fulness of shepherds come running upon him, he is not dismayed at their voice, and is not afflicted by their tumult; so shall Jehovah Zebaoth come down to fight upon Mount Zion and upon the hill thereof (Isa. 31:4);"
Here the omnipotence of Divine good is compared to a lion, and the omnipotence of the Divine truth thence derived is compared to a young lion, for it is said that Jehovah Zebaoth shall come down to fight upon Mount Zion and upon the hill thereof; for Mount Zion signifies the good of Divine love, and the hill thereof, the Divine truth thence derived (AC 795, 796, 1430, 4210).
 For the same reason the four animals in Ezekiel and in John, by which are meant cherubs, had the faces of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. In Ezekiel:--
"The likeness of the faces of the four animals: the face of a man and the face of a lion on the right side had they four; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; and they four had the face of an eagle (Ezek. 1:10; 10:14)."
And in John:--
"Before the throne were four animals full of eyes before and behind. And the first animal was like a lion, and the second animal like a calf the third animal had a face as a man, the fourth animal was like a flying eagle (Rev. 4:6, 7)."
That these animals were cherubs is said in Ezekiel 10, and is also plain from the description of them in John, namely, that they had eyes before and behind; for by cherubs are signified the Lord's foresight and providence (AC 308): that they had the face of a lion was from the omnipotence of Divine truth from Divine good, which is of providence. It was similar with the cherubs about the new temple, in (Ezekiel 41:19).
Research found at BibleMeanings.com
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