Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Landscapes

It’s raining today which always makes me less productive, luckily I’d prepared most of this blog in advance, otherwise, at my rainy day pace it probably would have taken me all day.
I have lots of lovely landscapes for you today, you should def check out Jose Manuel Gomez’s site for more surreal pictures, some even have giant eggs, and you can’t go wrong with giant eggs.

By Jose Manual Gomez at http://www.josemanuelgomez.com/english/ (2004).

By Caspar David Friedrich (1818).
I love the awesomnosity.


Aquamarine by Maxfield Parrish (1917).

The Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba by Claude Lorrain (1648).
The Queen of Sheba was said to have visited King Solomon, praised his rule and given him many wonderful gifts.

The Golconda Tombs at Sunset, from The Far Pavilions Picture Book (1979).
The Far Pavilions is a bestselling novel written by M. M. Kaye based on British-Indian history and romantic epics.
Please excuse the blurry corner I was trying to avoid bending the spine.


Landscape with the Ruins of Mount Palatine in Rome by Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1608).
A temple to the god Pan was built at Mount Palatine.
Ah Pan, the god of drunk and disorderly behaviour, well not exactly, but you definitely want this dude at a party.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Warriors

This weekend I bought Sims MEDIEVAL! It’s re-heely fun (though your sims don’t age which saddens me). I honour of the awesomeness of Sims MEDIEVAL today I bring you Warriors, knights being one of the hero types you can choose in Sims MEDI-cough cough-EVAL!

Profile of a Warrior in Armour by Leonardo Da Vinci (1480).

Armed Warrior on Horseback by Totoya Hokkei.

Theseus and Ariadne by Virginia Frances Sterrett (1921).

War Maiden by Ben Boos (Sword. Cambridge: Candle Wick Press, 2008.)


Illustration by N.C. Wyeth from page 306 of The Boy’s King Arthur in which Arthur and Mordred do battle (1922).

The Planet Mars. I got this picture from the book Mythology: Myths, Legends, & Fantasies by Dr. Alice Mills. It’s a fabulous resource for a well rounded look at mythology around the world and it has a lot of beautiful and diverse pictures.

I want this blog to be a success and by that I mean totally awesome so I thought I’d ask for some feedback. Anything you like or don’t like about this blog (If you don’t like anything about this blog you probably never will, I’m looking for constructive criticism). What do you want from this blog? Do you want to know about the artists, the artworks or the stories behind them. What do you want from me? Do you like to hear what’s going on in my life, or should I simply stick to the pictures, do you like it when I talk weird or would you prefer me to be utterly serious (there is no middle ground! Ok there is would you prefer a happy medium). Things along these lines, and please don’t be afraid to be the first to comment, I want to hear from you, and hopefully hearing from you will make this a better more interesting blog.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Picture of the Week: What's in an Allegory

Soak it in. Divine its meaning. Tis and Allegory by the great Leonardo da Vinci!
Personally I think it means, WATCH OUT FOR THAT GIANT EAGLE!! But I could be wrong.

On a side note what animal do you think it is in the boat?

Don’t read the next bit until you have answer lest it cloud your judgement.

I originally thought it looked like a pig (I think I’ve seen pigs steering ships before so it was the obvious choice) but then the INTERNET told me it was a wolf and more and more I think it looks like a wolf in everything but the face. That face is a mystery, a pig with a nose instead of a snout, but it really doesn’t look like a wolf to me. Oh woe, if only Leo was here now to clear up the matter, I’m sure he’d return my phone calls, unlike Michelangelo who would totally snub me. In any case, if you have any thoughts on the matter please let me know.

That was a bit of a wacky post for you, but it's a bit of a wacky picture, which is why I like it so much. Have a good weekend (I'm going to a party) and keep those imaginations pumping.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Birds! Birds! Birds!

The Menagerie by Melchior de Hondecoeter (ca. 1690).

Today I’m focusing my attention on birds of mythology, in part because I was inspired by this awesome livejournal post (http://0rchid-thief.livejournal.com/668323.html?thread=3282595) and in part because yesterday a butcher bird flew into our house after my wonderful dog very unwonderfully brought his bone inside tsk tsk. Don’t worry though, after much manoeuvring my mother got it out (If I’m completely honest I was asleep through the whole thing).

And here be the birds!

A Falcon by Archibald Thorburn.
The Falcon is a solar creature. In Egyptian mythology it is representative of the god Horus who sometimes has a Falcon head. In Norse mythology it is connected to the leader of the gods, Odin. The Falcon also plays a part in Chinese, Japanese and Native American mythology.

Owls by Gustave Doré.                        An Owl by Bec Kilpatrick
Perhaps one of the most mystical and magical birds that exist in our world. They were associated with the Greek/Roman Goddesses Athena/Minerva and Artemis/Diana as well as the Welsh Goddess Blodeuwedd. It has a mysterious duality to it as a creature of wisdom as well as death and misfortune. It has its place in Chinese, Japanese, Cree, African, Gaelic, and Scottish tradition. They were/are also associated with witches. They sure do get around.
I’ve got to say finding good pictures of owls is sooo easy, picking just two not so much. Everyone does owls, and I don’t blame them, they’re awesome. I particularly like the Doré picture because of the owls expressions, and I particularly Kilpatrick’s because of the flower motif which, to me, harks back to the Blodeuwedd myth in which Blodeuwedd the goddess of spring and flowers is turned into an owl, I don’t know if this was the artists intention but it’s awesome either way.

Pelecanus Erythorhynchos by John James Audubon.
The Pelican at one time or other has been a part of the symbology of Christianity, Alchemy and Masonry.

A Wagtail by Oshara Koson.
In the myths of the Abron people the Wagtail is known as Nconzo Nkila.

A Fairy Wren by Neville Henry Cayley.    Nested Fairy Wren by Renee Treml
The Wren is the central player in a European folklore tale that possibly dates back to ancient Sumer, in which the Wren, through cunning, is named King of the birds.
Renee Treml’s Etsy store can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ReneeTreml?ref=pr_shop_more

Leda and the Swan by Cesare de Sesto based on a lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci (1510-1515).
This particular painting depicts the Greek myth in which Zeus seduces Leda in the form of a swan (it’s better than a shower of gold I suppose). The swan is important to a number of myths and stories in a number of cultures including Irish and Hindu. The notion of the swan singing sweetly as it dies is central to its symbolism in many of its stories (anyone who hasn’t seen Black Swan go, go now). And don’t forget the story of the ugly duckling.

The Peacock by Patricia Ariel (http://mesmerizedbythesirens.blogspot.com/  )
The Peacock is central to Asian folklore. It is associated with paradise and in the epic poem Conference of the Birds by Attar, is exiled with Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden for siding with the serpent.


A Murder of 13 by Christina Empedocles (2010).
The Crow is multifaceted, it is an omen of both the bring of death and the cleansing of it. It is cunning and has the gift of foresight. It is present in North American, Australian, Celtic, Irish, Scottish, Greek and Christian lore.  
Christina Empedocles's website is http://www.christinaempedocles.com/index.html.


One evil looking Magpie by Ego Guiotto.
In the East the Magpie is a bringer of joy and good fortune, in the West not so much. In the West, if you see one you’re pretty much screwed. Now I don’t know what it’s like in the rest of the Western world (or Eastern world for that matter) but in Australia, let’s just say I’m surprised I’m not dead yet. In Christianity they’re a symbol of the Devil and in Norse mythology they’re connected to witches (what bird isn’t).

For some amazing photography of birds visit Kim Steininger’s site, www.birdsbykim.com.
And Beth Emily does some beautiful watercolour and pencil ornithological illustrations which you can look at here; http://www.beth-emily.com/.

For more information on birds in mythology and other magical creatures, and the source of some of my information turn to The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures by John and Caitlin Matthews, it's full of interesting information.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Totoya Hokkei


Totoya Hokkei is a Japanese ukiyo-e artist who lived from 1780 to 1850. You may remember him from such blogs as last week’s ‘The Birth of Love’.
Well I just liked him so much that I decided to dedicate an entire post to him, and here it is.





I found this owl picture on a brilliant livejournal post you can find here;

Have a good day/night and dream pretty.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Picture of the Week

I found this week’s Picture of the Week while working on the previous post.
This painting of the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi was painted by Indian Paint Raja Ravi Varma in 1896.


He created a similar but different image of the same Goddess using the oleograph printing technique which I’ve also included because why not.


They’re both very beautiful but I think I prefer oil painting for it’s more surreal elements, but now I’m changing my mind… it’s just too hard to choose.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Birth of Love

So today I can’t think of a theme that relates back to my life no matter how loosely. Perhaps it’s because I woke up earlier than usual in an attempt to develop a schedule but am instead just more tired and easily irritated. Thus I am simply picking a topic that I like; The Birth of Aphrodite (or Venus if you prefer). Damn I hear my memory exclaim, I was going to stay clear of the Classics I was going to diversify. Well let’s see if I can do both. Ooooh challenge (let me know if you can hear the delirium of tiredness sneaking into my writing).

The Birth of Venus by Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli (c. 1485) is arguably the most famous depiction o Venus/Aphrodite’s birth (though I can’t quite stop imagining her wind surfing on a clam shell in Hercules: Legendary Journeys). You’ve got a lot of classic imagery in this one; the sea of which she was born, the flowers which I’ll assume are roses (one of her many attributes), and the shell, although, if memory serves, the conch shell is more typically attributed this our goddess of love (among other things).

This time we have The Birth of Venus (1863) almost 200 years later from Pre-Raphaelite painter Alexandre Cabanel. Again we have that ocean and now she’s surrounded by a group of little cupids (There was only one!!... Wasn’t there??). And they’re blowing on that famous conch shell.

Oh the similarities. William-Adolphe Bouguereau painted this The Birth of Venus in 1879. Ocean: check, conch shell: check, sexy Botticelli pose on shell: check, swarm of cupids buzzing around her head: check. This painting has it all and isn’t it pretty too.









 
And here’s one from Symbolist painter Odilon Redon (1912). That pose is really popular.































Now here's me branching out;

Surimono (type of Japanese woodblock print) of Benten the Japanese goddess of love and music by Totoya Hokkei (1828).

This picture depicts three Indian goddesses, Lakshmi, Parvati and Sarasvati. Parvati in particular is connected to femininity, beauty and sexuality. Unfortunately the artist is unknown, to me and to Wikipedia.

Freja by John Bauer, otherwise known as Freya (and other variations) she is the Norse goddess of beauty and war. And what’s this? Is she sitting in front of the ocean… I think she is. (There was actually one of Freya doing the Botticelli pose but I decided against it).

Aztec goddess of love, Xochiquetzal. Picture from http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/index.php?one=azt&two=god&id=316&typ=reg.

Now all these goddesses have a scary amount in common apart from simply being their respective cultures lurve goddess. Water and the ocean is a running theme amongst love goddesses, quite a few of them have a dark aspect or double as war goddesses. Most are goddesses of all types of love, familial, friendly as well as sexual. A lot are involved in music and the arts, prostitution which is sometimes included in the arts or considered sacred. And something I found interesting tying our first goddess, Aphrodite/Venus to our last, Xochiquetzal is that these two share the attribute of the dove.
Oh and the Moon too is frequently involved, but having written an essay on that very thing, that could be said of every goddess (imho).

Now I'm full to the brim with love (hope you are too) I'll leave it there and maybe have a nap :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nymphs Part 2: New

And here's something a little different; none of these pictures were necessarily intended to be depictions of nymphs but I chose because imho they possess a nymph like quality; beauty, allure and a connection to nature.

Paolo Roversi. I really like the energy in this one, she could be Daphne fleeing Apollo and at any second now will sprout leaves and turn into a tree. I also like how nothing that you would expect to be the most important part – the girl – is in focus.

By Melbourne artist Eveline Taruadjaja, her work can be found here; http://lovexevol.com/
I love that her hair is a mushroom, I wish I was this imaginative and talented, but what’s even more amazing about this image is the dress is almost exactly the one my friends was wearing the other day and I attempted to describe in the previous post… weird.

Letting Go by Audrey Kawasaki. Kawasaki’s surreal, dreamlike girls are, to me, the quintessential nymphs. (http://www.audrey-kawasaki.com/)

These two are by another Melbourne artist Melissa Haslam (http://www.melissahaslam.com/). 

Innocence Prevails by Bec Winnel yet another Melbourne artist, Melbourne is totally the place to be, I need to move. (http://becwinnel.com/).

Nymphs Part 1: Old


I had quite the busy weekend this weekend. Friday night drinks in the city for a friend’s 22nd birthday, Saturday night House warming, Sunday lazy afternoon BBQ (gotta admit I sleepwalked through this one but it was perfect after the last two nights). The result of this weekend? A heck of a lot of fun and a touch of inspiration. A friend at the BBQ was wearing this dreamy pale peachy pink maxi dress and a headband, that I’m finding difficult to describe, but basically a row of black fabric not completely opened roses along her head. Ah, gorgeous, and now I am totally feeling nymphs, so get your engines in gear and prepare for some beautiful ethereal images. Are you ready? Good let’s go.

The Cave of the Storm Nymphs by Sir Edward John Poynter (1903)

The Water Nymph by Herbert Draper (1908).

Echo by Alexandre Cabanel (1887).

Nymphe et Satyre by Alexandre Cabanel (1860).

Hylas and the Nymphs by John William Waterhouse (1896). When it comes to nymphs you can’t go wrong with Waterhouse.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...