• Marina

Three Rabbits

Пост обновлен 15 сент. 2019 г.


Three rabbits iconography is an old and mysterious symbol in art history. It is found in far-reaching parts of Asia and Europe. It appears in 6th-century cave temples in China, on 13th-century Mongolian metalwork, and on a copper coin dated 1281 found in Iran. It also is seen on an ancient Islamic reliquary from southern Russia and on a 13th-century box made in Iran under Mongolian rule.

Across Europe, the motif appears in illuminated manuscripts and in various cathedrals and synagogues (architectural wood carving, stone carving, window tracery, floor tiles, headstones, and stained glasses) stretching from Ukraine to Switzerland and Germany, and on to England.


The English utilised this imagery with the greatest frequency and it can be found abundantly in the churches of Devon, floor tiles at Chester Cathedral, stained glass windows at Long Melford, Suffolk, and on a ceiling in Scarborough, Yorkshire.


No one knows for certain how the motif appeared and what it means. There is a theory that the three rabbits first emerged in China and eventually came to England along the Great Silk Road. But other researchers think this symbol could have originated independently in different parts of the world. Scholars also differ on the meaning of the rabbits. Some think they are related to Buddhist iconography and represent peace and tranquility; others think that it can be seen as a symbol of the Holy Trinity.


When I first saw this symbol in a medieval manuscript, I was enchanted and inspired to use this old motif for my Red Rabbits. While the meaning of the ancient motif remains obscure, they appear mostly in religious and holy places and relics. There is a sacredness to these rabbits - something people honored or prayed to.


My ‘Red Rabbits’ continue to be a symbol of strength and empowerment - which are important to me. In several new canvases, they are forever running in the magic circle, protecting my art collectors around the world and myself. Whether it’s the icons checkered history, the creature itself, I feel there are still many things to learn, more inspiration to draw and interpretations to create.

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