The Bull of Heaven

The Bull of Heaven,  monotype print, Brian Fisher

Taurus is perhaps the most prominent constellation in the northern hemisphere’s winter sky. One of the oldest described constellations, dating at least from the early Bronze Age when it marked the location of the Sun during the spring equinox, Taurus is symbol for the bull in the oldest mythologies of Sumer/Babylon, Egypt, India, Minoan Crete and Greece.

Wild bulls of Europe and Asia were huge, possibly as large as 6 feet at the shoulder, Whether referenced in visual art or described in writing the bull was venerated as the embodiment of supernatural strength and virility.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the hero Gilgamesh angered Innana, (Sumerian Goddess of love, sex war, and… justice) with his refusal to be her mate.  So spurned, she called down “The Bull of Heaven” to destroy Gilgamesh, Uruk his city, drink up all the water, devour the pasture and strip the land bare.

The hero Gilgamesh and his best bro, the wild man Enkidu, killed “The Bull of Heaven” and saved Uruk and surrounding countryside from destruction.  When Enkidu and Gilgamesh celebrated the victory over “The Bull of Heaven” the irate Goddess Innana climbed the walls of Uruk and cursed the two friends. When Enkidu picked up one of the bull’s bloody legs, threw it at her and shouted that if she would try anything else, he’d do the same to her… Enkidu sealed his own fate.

Brian Fisher Studio is stop # 21 on the VIVA Art Studio Tour, the first two weekends in Dec., where you can check out "The Bull of Heaven."


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