Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Red Death

Last May, the bunny asked me to illustrate one her favorite short stories: "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe ( you can click the picture for better view of the illustration). I never heard of this story before the bunny introduced it to me, so I read it and what I found was quite an interesting story. The short story was part of the book "Short Stories and Essays of Edgar Allan Poe," a compilation of the writer’s work. Set during the early middle ages, Poe really captured the horror in the medieval atmosphere, though in a exaggerate way, and embodies the Victorian taste of gothic romances, which I also like. He presents the Red Death as a parallel form of the Black Death, if only grislier, but just as contagious and fatal. The protagonist, Prince Prospero, in his belief that such a lowly thing as Death cannot even reach the hem of his robes, defies it by hiding in a remote castle with his courtiers, abandoning the rest of the country to the ravenous fever of the malady while they go on with their excesses. Irony then strikes upon the celebration of masque, when an unexpected figure visits them.

The illustration was part of my project with the bunny to illustrate some of her favorite fairy tales and other stories (The first one was the Beauty and the Beast. The second one was a scene from the Arabian Nights, and this was the third one. The fourth is supposedly a scene from Alice in Wonderland, but I’m still working on Red Death.) I no longer had the plan to finish it because I revised it in a new canvass.

The work was somehow Van Eyck-ish, but I had to make it darker for the gothic novel atmosphere and that Allan Poe flavour. I'm working on a revision, which is still in pencil, somehow improving the clothing. Before, their clothing and postures was based on Netherlandish interpretation of angels: plain robes, medieval virgin hair, and calm faces.


The figure of Death, on the seventh hall, is based from Bernt Notke’s Danse Macabre or the Dance of Death (you can click the picture for larger view). It is a wonderful work depicting the mortality of people, rich or poor, and they dance with death as a symbol of reunification with it, and to tell how Death makes everyone equals. This kind of metaphor was became more widely spread because of the bubonic plague in Europe, as shown in the many works of art that features this, from poetry to paintings. One of the famous Danse Macabre series were the woodcuts created by Hans Holbein.





To all the viewers of this blog, thank you so much for your little time. I hope you enjoyed your travel to my own realm. :)


25 comments:

~:C:~ said...

Your beautiful artwork, as usual, blows me away.

Candie Bracci said...

I really enjoy the travel,believe me.Your illustration is amazing.They are all.And that's a wonderful story too.Thank you for stopping by at my place.

Kitty said...

Oh gosh! I see blogger finally discovered your gorgeous work - congratulations!!

Your work is always so elegant; I love the colours of the clothes, and the expressions. Perfect.

bigsiz' Flanders said...

Oh my heavens! Your artwork is beautiful and inspiring. And think this was the first blog I found here on blogger.

Suicide Barbie said...

Exquisite

[Priscila Azeredo] said...

Hi, my name is Priscila and I'm from Brazil. I'm just writting to say that your blog is great!!!
Good job, boy!;]
Beijos!!!

H said...

wow that's quite different from the usual blogs of note.
You are very talented at what you do, this is amazing.

The Gypsy said...

Wow! What a beautiful concept blog you have here...gorgeous artwork!

Fear Death By Water said...

Hey -- Great stuff 'The Masque'was one of my favorite short stories from AP English in high school. A.I can't get the second photo to enlarge, be great if you'd e-mail it to me Bakhtinfoucault@aol.com B. are you selling the books anywhere ... I'd like to purchase one.

Tim

http://exitofhumanity.blogspot.com/

JBUDD NEWS said...

So many interesting things on these blogs now days. You should be a painter! ;)
jbuddnews.blogspot.com

denysmaco0l said...

nice post friend!!!!

please visit me back....
Culure of Indonesia

thanks friend.....

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Nice...

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Oddyoddyo13 said...

Wow. Those are amazing pictures.

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notivan said...

Beautiful drawings

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Philippines Blog said...

It's always nice to remember Edgar Allan Poe from long time ago. Many of today's youth no longer get to know who these people are. Concerns have shifted it seems from the important events in our lives to problems we are facing in this lifetime. I only get to hear Edgar Allan Poe in short lectures. Sad but true. I'm a blogger from the Philippines and It's nice to have come here and stumble upon your blog.

Candie Bracci said...

How are you?Oh God apart from some beautiful minds,lots of other people are coming here to do teir own publicity,pathetic,sorry to say.Do they even read?I guess that's a small bad part you get for being in the blogger's favorite.Nevermind,don't let this alter the authenticity of that blog.Write and post for you first,with your heart always,don't try to please and it will be right!All right!Happy weekend!:)

Jet said...

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The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

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Linz said...

I'm glad to have "stumbled" onto your blog. Your artwork is exquisite, and I love your in-depth discussion of Poe's Red Death. I read this short story in college, and was instantly mesmerized by the macabre, horror, and symbolism of the story. Thank you for allowing me to re-visit my love of literature!

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