Lions were really hard to draw for medieval artists
As inhabitants of the Information Era, we cannot imagine life before instant access to answers.
The average citizen didn’t know what an animal looked like unless it was native to their area. Centuries ago before Planet Earth showed us every vein on the eyeball of a microscopic endangered bug that lives only on a tiny island thousands of miles from civilization.
During the ancient and medieval eras, artists and scientists began studying animals in earnest and creating compendiums of various creatures (and even where to find them), which forced them to rely on second-hand information in order to create their own drawings. What is the result? A hilariously inaccurate and weird depiction of creatures that look more like they came from a Dr. Seuss book than an encyclopedia.
A treasure trove of weirdness resides in medieval art. It’s a feeling shared by many others as well.