The Wolf and the Lamb: The Tyrant and the Innocent

In Aesop’s Fable of The Wolf and the Lamb, a tyrannical wolf justifies killing an innocent lamb. French Art Deco artist Benjamin Rabier (1864-1939) illustrated the tale in the 1906 copy of Les fables de la Fontaine. Literature and art often depicted wolves as fearsome villains. English author Joan Aiken (1924-2004) used the animal as a metaphor for the evil people surrounding two young cousins in her children’s novel The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. American writer and artist Edward Gorey (1925-2000) provided a macabre illustration for the book cover. In Eastern European fairy tales, the wolf is a sinister creature of the forest along with Baba Yagas as seen in the Art Nouveau watercolor Three Women and Three Wolves by Swiss decorative artist Eugène Grasset (1845-1917). At one time hunted to near extinction in America, very few wolves survived in Europe. Now, Man has become the Wolf and the Wolf  is the Lamb.