The Chinese Zodiac + Rupert Shrive

I'm a big fan of the contemporary figurative artist, Rupert Shrive, and love that he often does groups of paintings like these from his Chinese Zodiac series.  I love his point of view, painting something beautiful and perfect, then crumpling, crushing and folding it to resemble a new version of something familiar.  

 

Rat, 2014, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 46 x 38 x 18 cm 

One story of how the Chinese Zodiac came to be is that Budda summoned all animals in the universe to race towards the palace.  The prize would be one of the twelve coveted spots on the calendar.

The order in which they arrived at the palace is how they appear on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar.  The Rat finishing first, and I'm sure to no one's surprise, the Pig coming in last. 

Rat: Element - Water; Characteristics: Intelligent, adaptable, quick-witted, charming

Years: 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

 Bull, 2014, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 43 x 52 x 20 cm
Bull : Element - Earth; Characteristics: Loyal, reliable, thorough, strong
Bull Years: 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
 Tiger, 2013, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 47 x 37 x 16.5 cm
Tiger: Element - Wood; Characteristics: Enthusiastic, courageous, ambitious
Tiger Years: 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

  

 Hare, 2014, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 50 x 28 x 20 cm
Hare: Element - Wood; Characteristics: Trustworthy, modest, diplomatic
Hare Years: 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
 Dragon, 2014, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 48 x 40 x 16 cm
Dragon: Element - Earth; Characteristics: Lucky, eccentric, imaginative, artistic
Dragon Years: 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
 

 Snake, 2014, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 38 x 42 x 16 cm

Snake: Element - Fire; Characteristics: Philosophical, organized, intelligent, intuitive

Snake Years: 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

 

 Horse, 2014, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 61 x 39 x 18.5 cm
Horse: Element - Fire; Characteristics: Adaptable, loyal, courageous, ambitious
Horse Years: 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
 Goat, 2014, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 40 x 40 x 15 cm
Goat: Element - Earth; Characteristics: Tasteful, crafty, warm, elegant, charming
Goat Years: 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

 Monkey, 2013, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 47 x 38 x 18.5
Monkey: Element - Metal; Characteristics: Quick-witted, charming, lucky, adaptable
Monkey Years: 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
Cock, 2013, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 51 x 41 x 19 cm 
Cock: Element - Metal; Characteristics: Honest, energetic, intelligent, flamboyant
Cock Years: 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

 

 Dog, 2013, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 46 x 50 x 19 cm
Dog: Element - Earth; Characteristics: Loyal, sociable, courageous, diligent
Dog Years: 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006
 Pig, 2013, acrylic on brown paper, polyurethane, 46 x 42 x 19 cm
Pig: Element - Water; Characteristics: Honorable, philanthropic, determined, optimistic
Pig Years: 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007
To find out more about the Chinese Zodiac, click here!
To see more on this awesome artist, click here!
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