So, which medieval lion are you today? (I think I’m #8)
Ok, but which medieval embroidered lion are you today? (#8 for me again)
As noted on the lion’s page on the Medieval Bestiary website, the lion was the king of the beasts and thus was usually the first one depicted in beasteries, often accompanied with one of the longest and most complex text entries.
As for why they often looked so bad…Why Are Medieval Lions So Bad?
Also worth a read: The Laudable Lion of the Medieval Mind
Medieval bestiary illustrations are just weird and whacky in general, of course! 😉 You can find a number of interesting books about them in my Amazon Idea List “Animals in Medieval European Art.”