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Salamander by Serathus Salamander by Serathus
Salamander


This is my version of the legendary creature Salamander. Inspired by the game in PSX, Brigandine.

Around 5 to 6 hours of work.




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The salamander is an amphibian of the order Urodela. As with many real creatures, pre-modern authors often ascribed fantastic qualities to it (compare the allegorical descriptions of animals in medieval bestiaries), and in recent times some have come to identify a legendary salamander as a distinct concept from the real organism. This idea is most highly developed in the occult. Where the two concepts can be distinguished, the legendary salamander is most often depicted much like a typical salamander in shape, with a lizard-like form, but it is usually ascribed an affinity with fire (sometimes specifically elemental fire).



Classical, medieval, and renaissance lore

This legendary creature embodies the fantastic qualities that ancient and medieval commentators ascribed to the natural salamander. Many of these qualities are rooted in verifiable traits of the natural creature but often exaggerated to a significant degree, as was common in ancient works on natural history and philosophy. A large body of legend, mythology, and symbolism has developed around this creature over the centuries.

The most widely known deviation from a realistic depiction is from an influential 20th-century occult work by Manly P. Hall, Secret Teachings of All Ages. Since this illustration appears to originate in a 1527 anti-papal tract by Andreas Osiander and Hans Sachs, where it is identified as "the Pope as a monster,"Hall's identification of the illustration is doubtful. Descriptions of the legendary form are more likely to use stylized depictions. In Medieval European bestiaries, fanciful depictions of salamanders include "a satyr-like creature in a circular wooden tub" (8th century), "a worm penetrating flames" (12th century), "a winged dog" (13th century), and "a small bird in flames" (13th century). Renaissance depictions are characteristically more realistic, adhering more closely to the Classical description.

In one of the earliest surviving descriptions of a salamander, Pliny the Elder (A.D. 2379) noted that the creature is "an animal like a lizard in shape and with a body starred all over; it never comes out except during heavy showers and disappears the moment the weather becomes clear."All of these traits, even down to the star-like markings, are consistent with the golden Alpine salamander (Salamandra atra aurorae) of Europe that has golden or yellow spots or blotches on its backand some similarly marked subspecies of the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra). Pliny even made the important distinction between salamanders and lizards, which are similar in shape but very different in other respects, which was not systematized until recent times, when biologists classified lizards as reptiles and salamanders as amphibians.

Pliny recounts several other traits which are less credible, such as the ability to extinguish fire with the frigidity of their bodies, a quality which is also reported by Aristotle.[citation needed] While Pliny notes this in Book 10, Chapter 86 of the Natural History, in Book 29, Chapter 23 of the same work he views this idea with skepticism, pointing out that if such an idea were true, it should be easy to demonstrate. It was never proven that these amphibians could accomplish such myths. He also notes medicinal and poisonous properties, which are founded in fact on some level, since many species of salamander, including fire salamanders and Alpine salamanders, excrete toxic, physiologically active substances. These substances are often excreted when the animal is threatened, which has the effect of deterring predators. The extent of these properties is greatly exaggerated though, with a single salamander being regarded as so toxic that by twining around a tree it could poison the fruit and so kill any who ate them and by falling into a well could slay all who drank from it.

Of all the traits ascribed to salamanders, the ones relating to fire have stood out most prominently in salamander lore. This connection probably originates from a behavior common to many species of salamander: hibernating in and under rotting logs. When wood was brought indoors and put on the fire, the creatures "mysteriously" appeared from the flames. The 16th-century Italian artist Benvenuto Cellini (15001571) famously recalled witnessing just such an appearance as a child in his autobiography. According to some writers, the milky substance that a salamander exudes when frightened and which makes its skin very moist gave rise to the idea that the salamander could withstand any heat and even put out fires.

Early commentators in Europe often grouped "crawling things" (reptiles or reptilia in Latin) together, and thus creatures in this group, which typically included salamanders (Latin salamandrae), dragons (Latin dracones or serpentes), and basilisks (Latin basilisci), were often associated together, as in Conrad Lycosthenes' Prodigiorum ac ostentorum chronicon of 1557.

The salamander is mentioned in the Talmud (Hagiga 27a) as a creature that is a product of fire, and anyone who is smeared with its blood will be immune to harm from fire. Rashi (10401105), the primary commentator on the Talmud, describes the salamander as one which is produced by burning a fire in the same place for seven years. According to Sahih Bukhari (810870), Muhammad said that salamanders are "mischief-doers" and "should be killed".

Leonardo da Vinci (14521519) wrote the following on the salamander: "This has no digestive organs, and gets no food but from the fire, in which it constantly renews its scaly skin. The salamander, which renews its scaly skin in the fire,for virtue."Later, Paracelsus (14931541) suggested that the salamander was the elemental of fire, which has had substantial influence on the role of salamanders in the occult.

Early travelers to China were shown garments supposedly woven from salamander hair or wool; the cloth was completely unharmed by fire. The garments had actually been woven from asbestos. According to T. H. White, Prester John had a robe made from it; the "Emperor of India" possessed a suit made from a thousand skins; and Pope Alexander III had a tunic which he valued highly. William Caxton (1481) wrote: "This Salemandre berithe wulle, of which is made cloth and gyrdles that may not brenne in the fyre." Holme (1688) wrote: "...I have several times put [salamander hair] in the Fire and made it red hot and after taken it out, which being cold, yet remained perfect wool."

An alternative interpretation was that this material was a kind of silk: A 12th-century letter supposedly from Prester John says, "Our realm yields the worm known as the salamander. Salamanders live in fire and make cocoons, which our court ladies spin and use to weave cloth and garments. To wash and clean these fabrics, they throw them into flames." Friar also notes that Marco Polo believed that the "true" salamander was an incombustible substance found in the earth.

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:fuzzydemon: checkout my other dragon artworks :fuzzydemon:

Fafnir
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:icondragonzforever03:
dragonzforever03 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow that's so awesome... for some reason that reminds me of charizard
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! glad you like it
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:iconredwingsdragon:
RedWingsDragon Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
Awesome work here
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! =)
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:iconletdragon:
Letdragon Featured By Owner May 24, 2013
Incredible take on Salamander. :O
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner May 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
thanks a lot! =)
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:iconletdragon:
Letdragon Featured By Owner May 26, 2013
You're welcome. :)
Reply
:iconshlomif:
shlomif Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
Very nice, the mouth is really dynamic. I think its tummy makes it look a little fat.
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
i agree. i actually have plans to modify this but kinda busy now a days. =)
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:iconcastorborgne:
CastorBorgne Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2012
Wonderful Red Dragon
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
thanks a lot! =)
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
thanks a lot! =)
Reply
:icondragonrawsome123:
dragonrawsome123 Featured By Owner May 15, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Hey in a show called fairy tail there's a salamander too!!!
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
awesome! =)
Reply
:iconpopna:
popna Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
amazing dragon! nice lighting and mood as well! :D
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks a lot! =)
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:iconwnter06:
wnter06 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2011
force myth eternal
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconhotaru-no-kuronichi:
Hotaru-No-Kuronichi Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I depict it as more...serpentine, without wings. Other tahn that, this is an incredible work of art. This, and Fafnir, should be used as graphics for an occult-fantasy product like a poster.
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks a lot for the wonderful comment! =)
Reply
:iconkevinroberts:
kevinroberts Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2011  Professional Photographer
WOW, this is incredible! The first thing I though of, which is so vivid in my mind since I read it at a very young age (and have re-read many times since) was Smuag the dragon in The Hobbit. Regardless of the origins and inspiration it is an AMAZING work of art! I'm impressed.
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks a lot for a wonderful comment. much appreciated. =)
Reply
:iconkenywhp:
kenywhp Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome work!
Featured on Monster Database linked to u!

>>> Every monster in this blog is linked to its original creator, we just post them! If an artist would like to change the monster's name, or his (the artist's) name on the post, or wanna add some more information about the creature, just write us. <<<

[link]
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:icongravemind1110:
GRAVEMIND1110 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Wooow,this really surprised me, what a amazing dragon I see here
Looks amazing, such a great job with the details especially for the scales,
and background it's so realistic,the skies,fire,distant figures,everything it's incredible
I think you should make classes on this,in my case,for me digital art it's impossible ^^;
Reply
:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! i hope you watch for my futere dragon deviations as well. =)
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:iconasuky:
Asuky Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Nice work :clap:
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! =)
Reply
:icondemonlove97:
demonlove97 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Epic :wow:
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! =)
Reply
:iconephraimrayquaza:
EphraimRayquaza Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011
EPIC! :iconiwantitplz:
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! =)
Reply
:iconthandav:
thandav Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Professional General Artist
cool
Reply
:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! =)
Reply
:iconthandav:
thandav Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2011  Professional General Artist
:)
Reply
:iconmosobot64:
mosobot64 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Student General Artist
I'm actually surpirsed you can get that much detail and depth onto the screen in such a short frame of time.
Reply
:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
i believe the time consuming part doing monsters or dragons is positioning his body. getting the right perspective and pose. putting details is really not that hard using grey scale method before putting colors. =)
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:iconmosobot64:
mosobot64 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Student General Artist
That does make sense! I've been trying to figure out digital grisaille lately myself. :D
Reply
:iconladylyzar:
ladylyzar Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is fantastic! I also loved Brigandine.
Reply
:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! yeah 1 of my all time fav game. =)
Reply
:iconclerical-error:
Clerical-Error Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Student Digital Artist
The shading on the scales looks awesome, especially near the head. So much detail!:D I like the simple intense color scheme too.
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! glad u like it. =)
Reply
:iconhail-the-oblivious:
hail-the-oblivious Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this guy has somewhat weird proportions... nice work though
Reply
:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! yeah i think the neck positioning part is kinda wierd. anyways i'll makeup to my next dragon deviation. =)
Reply
:iconrufek:
Rufek Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! Great work with the colouring and shading. That background and the effects are looking epic too. I take it to my fav's :)
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! =)
Reply
:iconrufek:
Rufek Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome.
Reply
:iconpltnm06ghost:
Pltnm06Ghost Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2011  Professional General Artist
Wow, this is too amazing to be a 5 - 6 hour job. Man you're fantastic o.o
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:iconserathus:
Serathus Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! =)
Reply
:icondatemilynn:
DatEmilynn Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Fantastic work, very impressive!!
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