The Children of Lir

Mary Syring

    • 10 x 10 inches
    • © 2012
    • Ink on Bristol Paper
    • Framed
  • The Children of Lir is an Irish legend. The original Irish title is Clann Lir or Leannaí Lir, but Lir is the genitive case of Lear. Bodb Derg was elected king of the, much to the annoyance of Lir. In order to appease Lir, Bodb gave one of his daughters, Aoibh, to him in marriage. Aoibh bore Lir four children: one girl, Fionnuala, and three sons, Aodh and twins, Fiachra and Conn. Aoibh died, and her children missed her terribly. Wanting to keep Lir happy, Bodb sent another of his daughters, Aoife, to marry Lir.

    Jealous of the children's love for each other and for their father, Aoife plotted to get rid of the children. On a journey with the children to Bodb's house, she ordered her servant to kill them, but the servant refused. In anger, she tried to kill them herself, but did not have the courage. Instead, she used her magic to turn the children into swans. When Bodb heard of this, he transformed Aoife into an air demon for eternity. As swans, the children had to spend 300 years on Lough Derravaragh (a lake near their father's castle), 300 years in the Sea of Moyle, and 300 years on the waters of Irrus Domnann Erris near to Inishglora Island (Inis Gluaire). To end the spell, they would have to be blessed by a monk. While the children were swans, Saint Patrick converted Ireland to Christianity.

  • "I was born in the Bay Area, and have since lived in quite a few locations. From the suburban town of Bakersfield, to the country of Kazakhstan, I have met some very colorful characters and have been exposed to many interesting experiences, but so far I couldn't be happier living in my city by the bay. I moved back to San Francisco in 2004 to attend the Academy of Art University, and graduated in 2009 with my BFA in Illustration. My preference is to work with traditional mediums, ink and gold paint being my favorite."~Mary Syring
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