In ancient Mesopotamia (Assyria), the Shedu (alternate name Lamassu) was a winged animal (usually a bull or a lion) with the head of a man.
On a visit to London, I saw some of these relief sculptures at the British Museum, and they are impressive.
In later European heraldry, the Shedu is a winged lion. It is sometimes used as a symbol for Christian saints or concepts. One interesting application is that of the winged lion with its paw on an open book. This is a symbol of peace.
Below are some more representations of this mythological beast.
I like the above sculpture by Scott Eaton of a Shedu doing battle with Wyverns. It’s easier to see if you click on the image to enlarge it.
Here is an interesting composition by Ezra Tucker:
The colors and relatively simple lines in the above illustration by Synnabar work for me, too.
As the image at the beginning of this post indicates, I have used the Shedu as a character for my “epic” story poem, The Staff in the Tree.
More next week…