This week's PhotoHunt theme is "What IS that?"
What do you think? Continue reading for one theory...
Some great guesses, everyone! Yes, it is in Venice. I think it looks like a sea serpent too (with puppy dog ears), and it makes sense that it might have been used to scare off evil spirits. And LOL at Baker...it does look kinda nightmarish, I guess, but it's such a nice piece of outdoor sculpture that I really like it anyway, scary or not.
I never would have found this thing if I hadn't seen it in a book first. It's very tucked away and even with directions, I had a hard time finding it. The book is Paolo Giordani's Venezia -- he calls it a Dragon-Snake and says it's at least 500 years old. More from the book:
"This work has an interesting symbology. The figure brings together in a single symbol two aspects of the Cosmos: the dragon is yang, active principle and divine power; while the serpent is yin, the principle of reproduction and primordial water. The intertwined double spiral represents two directions of one movement: balance and imbalance, birth and death, the initiation of death and the rebirth of new being. The rings thus mark the mid-line between yang and yin, an alternative twofold expansion and the point of balance between two opposing cosmic forces."
Hmmm. I dunno. I feel like there's more to the story.
The dragon-snake is in Corte del Rosario in Castello, not far from the church of San Zaccaria. This corte is named for an ancient altar to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, but I don't know if there's any connection between that altar (which is no longer there) and this creature.
Here's another photo. I like the little weed growing out of the bricks too.