Mythical Creatures: Gnome (Switzerland) By Derek Anderson, Joel Anderson, 2022


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Gnomes are mythical beings with a strange, interesting background. Known worldwide as small, dwarf-like, garden-dwelling creatures, the word “gnome” comes from the Latin’ gnomus’ or Greek’ gnosis,’ which has roots in the ancient Greek words for ‘knowledge of hidden treasure’ and ‘earth dweller.’ The traditional gnomes are closely linked to the mythology of the classical elements (Earth, Fire, Water, and Air) and were said to be the nocturnal protectors of the Earth. Legend has it that gnomes live underground, where they guard the nearby plant life (as well as their stashes of buried treasure). Supposedly, rays of sunshine could turn a gnome to stone. But unlike evil trolls, who also turned to stone in sunlight, gnomes were said to be good creatures who helped plants grow. Swiss alchemist Paracelsus first discussed the alleged magical powers of gnomes during the Renaissance, hence the prominence of gnomes in Swiss folklore. Inspired by the legends of mysterious creatures and mythical monsters from around the world, Anderson Design Group poster artists hand-rendered a vintage-styled poster of this mythical mini-man. This classic monster design and vintage poster art is available as a poster print, canvas, metal sign, mini-canvas, or as a notecard or postcard. To learn more about the history of gnomes, their role as protectors of plant life, and their connection to Switzerland, check out the website Trees.com.

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