Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Andromeda and the Monster

I forgot to mention it last time but Wicked was amazing. I loved every minute of and am beginning to think of myself as a musical fan, particularly the live variety, I saw Jesus Christ Superstar last year and it blew me away as well. If ever you get the opportunity I urge you to see both.

Now back to the topic at hand; Andromeda, Perseus and sea monsters Oh My! (See I can't get Wicked of the brain).

I was recently inspired by a beautiful painting by Gustave Doré of Andromeda being sacrificed to the sea monster, Cetus. It is a stunning and frightening image which I would like to compare to a few others depicting the same myth.

Paul Gustave Doré (1881-83)                  Edward Poynter (1869)

To me the most obvious difference between these two paintings is the colour scheme. Poynter's image is much brighter and warmer. It is clearly day time whereas Doré's painting is clearly set during the night which is instantly more terrifying. The second significant difference is in the body language of the Andromedas. Doré's Andromeda is pulling away in fright, her wrist held fast by the chains, her feet struggle for stability on the rocks. Poynter's Andromeda, seems anxious at best, she casually stands firm on the flat rock, her arms are awkwardly held behind her by the chains and she is looking down into the water, but she is not overly afraid, this could be because there is no monster yet to be afraid of. Which brings me to my third difference. in Poynter's painting there is no monster, there's no imminent threat, for all we no nothings coming.

Thinking about it now, I think I should have swapped the paintings, Poynter's could easily be a before shot; she was chained there during the day still has a scrap of clothing and her hair nicely done, concerned but not yet afraid of what may or may not be coming for her. Then comes Doré's  painting; night has fallen and the monster is almost upon her, in her struggles to get free she has lost that scrap of clothing and her hair has come loose. Now we just need that third picture in which Perseus is on his way... wait a second I think I can rustle something up.
Hans Von Aachen (circa. 1600)
Yay! Perseus to the rescue, Phew I can sleep easy now... looks like he dropped of some new scrap of cloth for her as well, yay Perseus!

And just for funsies here’s a shot of the same scene but from the 2010 film CLASH OF THE TITANS (imagine Liam Neeson saying it in a booming Zeus voice as is only appropriate).
Oooh drama drama. Clearly this version is much more spectacular and by that I mean it's a spectacle (as a film and as an event withing the film), but hey, it’s Hollywood, if they don’t know how to make something into a spectacle what are they good for. Oh and just so no one thinks I'm being rude I should tell you that I love Hollywood and all things SPECTACULAR!

Catcha later alligator

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