‘Mythical animals like harpies, unicorns, Pegasus and griffons were derived from traditional Greco-Roman themes.’
Animal representation occurred across artistic media: mosaics, painting and sculpture, and on architecture. Although animal motifs appeared in a wide variety of materials they are very common on stone, pottery, metal, wood and ivory. Both domestic and wild animals such as bulls, horses, trotting camels, gazelles, onagers, deer, doves, eagles, storks, snakes, rabbits, monkeys, cats and lions are present. Mythical animals like harpies, unicorns, Pegasus and griffons were derived from traditional Greco-Roman themes.
Hegira 6th century /AD 12th century
The British Museum
London, England, United Kingdom
In the classical repertoire the harpy was a vicious monster, but in Islamic art it is an auspicious creature.