A dragon is a mythical beast resembling a serpent or a winged reptilian creature. A dragon can also have multiple heads. The word derives from the Greek drákon, which means ‘large serpent’. The dragon occurs in mythologies from all over the world, possibly because ancient cultures knew little about the existence of enormous prehistoric reptiles. One of the oldest symbols worldwide is the ourobouros, literally ‘tail-eater’, the serpent or dragon biting its own tail and thus forming an eternal circle.
In European (Christian) art the dragon usually symbolizes evil, as in the case of Saint George, who is venerated for fighting a dragon. In China this creature is extremely popular and has positive associations with good fortune and fertility.
The dragon allows artists to give free rein to their imagination, which has led to the creation of the most splendid many-headed monsters as well as friendly fantasy creatures.