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Oil on canvas

65 x 46cm



The Hound of Culann

  • The ancient warrior Cú Chulainn had superhuman strength, speed and fighting ability. Raised by wolves, he was cursed to suffer bouts of uncontrollable rage but ultimately defended Ulster against Connacht's forces. His demise came at the hands of one of his many enemies Lugaid who threw a spear which pierced his body.

    Cú Chulainn couldn’t bear the thought of dying on the ground but wanted to die on his feet, like a warrior. He crawled to a standing stone, and tied himself to it. As he stood there, dying, a raven came and tripped over his intestine. Cú Chulainn laughed, then died with a smile on his face and a laugh in his mouth.

    He stood tied to the rock for 3 days after his death, and none of his enemies were brave enough to approach and make sure he was gone. At the end of 3 days, the Morrigan (a great warrior-queen goddess in Irish-Celtic mythology) took the shape of a raven and perched on his shoulder, and when he did not move, they knew it was safe.

    His death highlighted his unwavering resolve and loyalty to his principles even in the face of certain death. It fulfils a prophecy, showcasing the inevitability of preordained events even in Irish mythology and emphasises the inescapable nature of fate even for mighty heroes.

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