Animal iconography, seven sins series

Invidia (Envy), Medicine Cabinet

Invidia (Envy), Medicine Cabinet

The snake, a symbol of envy in iconographic art, is also a symbol of medicine. The ability of the snake to shed its skin has been associated with the circle of life. The snake is connected with pharmacology and antisepsis, as snakes possess an antivenom against their own poison. It's related to sciences associated with poison and death, such as toxicology. Its benevolent  as well as poisonous properties could be compared by the similar properties of medicine.

 

A species of legless lizard (which looks like a snake) is in one of the glass jars as a reference to Chinese traditional medicine, as mentioned in Hall's Encyclopedia of western and eastern symbols in art.

 

Envy refers to a personal situation, the envy for having a good health.

 

Oil and lacquer on scientific cylindrical glass jars containing fluid preserved snakes and a lizard, snake skulls and skins, a plywood box and rattlesnake rattles, glass and steel cabinet, 80 x 50 x 20 cm,  2016

 

The cabinet contains:

 

painted skulls of two Royal Pythons ( Python regius ), the skull of a Boa ( Boa constrictor ) , a skull of a Gaboon Viper ( Bitis gabonicus ), a Wagler's pit viper's skull ( Tropidolaemus wagleri  ), and two Amur rat snake skulls ( Elaphe schrenckii ).

 

Two painted skins: A Cobra skin and a Python skin.

 

A painted plywood box with five painted Prairie Rattlesnake rattles ( Crotalus virides )

 

Oil and lacquer on three cylindrical glass jars containing fluid preserved specimens, an unknown species of snake, a Burton's legless lizard ( Lialis burtonis ) and a Bornean keeled green pit viper ( Tropidolaemus subannulatus ), in the "Natterman" jar.