Dragon Defence

Dragon (from the Greek δρᾰ́κων) is a 'winged serpent', sometimes spewing fire.

1. Dragon is the luckiest of the Chinese zodiac signs, Heavenly Dragon being the guardian of the dwellings of gods and their peace.

2. Down on earth the wall was built in such a way as to protect China from the barbaric invasions coming from the North - hence the resulting geometry of the 'dragon'.

3. Legend has it that a giant dragon guided the builders as to the location and direction of the wall walking along the borders of the country and the workmen following in his steps.

4. People called this wall 'earth dragon' because of the high mounds of rammed earth initially used in laying its foundations. Its colors also corresponded with that title.

5. In the painting we see a group of Buddhists gathered under the Dragon flag to consider the barbarian danger from the North. The low-lying fog in the distance allows them to move around unnoticed.

6. Dragon symbolically represents the four elements – air, fire, water and soil – coming together in the form of this fire-breathing horned creature with eagle-like claws, scaled body and a thorny snail tail.

7. The Great Wall of China (literally a 'long wall') stretching on for 21,2 km was built in ancient China. It goes along the Yinshan mountain range, taking in all the offshoots and successfully negotiating both the steep climbs and sizeable gorges. It naturally blends into the surrounding mountainous landscape becoming of a piece with it. The Wall divides China into the land of farmers in the south and that of the nomads in the north.