Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Jabberwocky

Here is one of many incredible illustrations taken from Lewis Caroll's "Through the Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There" (1871). "The illustrations helped to make John Tenniel famous; less well-known is that the pictures were engraved (in order to print them) onto wood by the Dalziel brothers." See more illustrations from this edition of the book here.
More Dragons

Here's a mixed bag of various older unknown dragon artworks I've stumbled across lately. This brings to a close my weeklong post of what has got to be the most prominent monster in all of art history, the dragon.
Dragons In Modern Art

Hayao Miyazaki

The above image is from the animated film Spirited Away.

Shadow of the Colossus

This game was created by Fumito Ueda and his team. If you're not familiar with this game, it is a fantasy set against a large number of giant monsters. Each of them taking some characteristics from various monsters in history, legend and mythology. The take on the dragon is very unique. Click here and here to see concept sketches from the dragon like creatures of the game.

Dave De Leuw

Michael Parkes

M.C Escher

Terrance Lindall

Wayne Barlowe

Alan Lee

Friday, April 20, 2007

Saint George and the Dragon

Paolo Uccello - St George and the Dragon, oil on canvas 1456

Paolo Uccello - St George and the Dragon, oil on canvas 1458-60

Raphael Sanzio - St George fighting the dragon, oil on wood 1505

Raphael Sanzio - St George and the dragon, oil on wood 1505-06

Vittore Carpaccio - St George and the Dragon, Tempera on canvas, 1502. View detail of left side here. View detail of right side here.

Vittore Carpaccio - St George and the dragon, Oil on canvas 1516

Leonhard Beck - St George and the Dragon, 1st half of the 16th century.

Girard Master - St. George and the Dragon, Spanish 15th century oil and tempera on panel.

Carlo Crivelli - St George Slaying the Dragon, tempera and gold leaf/wood, Italy 1470.

Carlo Crivelli - St George and the Dragon, scene from the predella panel of the 'Madonna della Rondine' altarpiece, c.1490

Bernat Martorell - St George Killing the Dragon, Tempera on wood, 1430-35

Franz Pforr - St George and the Dragon, 1811

Mattia Preti - St George Victorious over the Dragon, oil on canvas, Italian 1678

Cornelius Cort - St. George killing the dragon, Dutch 16th century engraving

Lucas Cranach the Elder - St. George on Horseback Slaying the Dragon, German 15th - 16th century woodcut.

Enea Vico - St. George killing the dragon, after Giulio Clovio, Italian 1542 Engraving.

Jacopo Bellini - S.Giorgio che uccide il drago, Italian print from 15th century.

Bernardino Lanino - St George and the Dragon, black chalk, pen, bistre wash, and heightened with white lead on ochre-green prepared paper. Image found thanks to Peacay Chez.

C.R - Image caption reads, "Sancti Georgii: liberet nos Deus a dolore capitis et ab omni malo."

A theatrical production, Covent Garden, London 1864, Artist unkown.

The above Woodcut shows the scene of Cadmus and the dragon. "A Phoenician prince who killed a dragon and sowed its teeth, from which sprang up an army of men who fought one another until only five survived. With these five men Cadmus founded the city of Thebes." I can only assume that this was a direct inspiration for the imagery of St. George and the Dragon.

Another illustration of Cadmus and the Dragon, artist unknown. Click here to view more imagery taken from the Ovid: Metamorphoses.

View more imagery of Saint George Vs The Dragon here.

And even more paintings and other medium of Saint George battling the dragon can be found here.

Sketches attributed to Leonardo da Vinci for a composition of Saint George and the Dragon. Black chalk and light touches of pen and brownish ink. Image found thanks to Peacay Chez.

Arnold Böcklin - Angelika wird von einem Drachen bewacht, 1873

Thursday, April 19, 2007

European Dragons Pt 2

Johann Jakob - Drage from "Oresiphoites Helveticus, 1723.

Above is an engraving by Michel Nicolas Micheux.

The above is an interpretation of a Chinese dragon by the artist Athansius Kircher from 1667.

The above print is by Jacob Grimm from 1912.

And another print by Jacob Grimm from 1912.

One more work by Jacob Grimm, print dated 1912.

A cropping from an engraving by the Italian Bernardo Daddi titled "Apollo Killing The Python, from the series The Story of Apollo and Daphne." 16th century

The above drawing was made by Leonardo da Vinci.

Albrecht Dürer - The Apocalyptic Woman, St John Devouring the Book, eleventh plate from the series The Apocalypse, 1498 woodcut.

Here is text concerning this interpretation of the dragon...

"THE constellation Draco, the Great Serpent, was at one time ruler of the night, being formerly at the very centre of the heavens and so large that it was called the Great Dragon. Its body spread over seven signs of the Zodiac, which were called its seven heads. So great a space did it occupy, that, in mystic language, it "drew a third part of the stars from heaven and cast them to the earth." Thuban, in its tail, was formerly the pole-star, or "judge of the earth!' It approached much nearer the true pole than Cynosura, the present pole-star, which is one and a half degrees distant and will never approach nearer than twelve minutes, while Thuban was only ten minutes distant.

At an early day serpents were much respected; they were thought to have more "pneuma" or spirit than any other living thing and were termed "fiery." For this cause high initiates were called "naga," or serpents of wisdom; and a living serpent was always carried in the celebration of the mysteries. During the brilliant eighteenth and nineteenth Egyptian dynasties, Draco was a great god; but when this constellation lost its place in the heavens, and Thuban ceased to be the guiding sidereal Divinity, it shared the fate of all the fallen gods. "The gods of our fathers are our devils," says an Arabic proverb. When Re-Veilings was written, Draco had become a fallen angel representing evil spirituality. By precessional motion the foot of Hercules rests upon its head, and we find it depicted as of the most material color, red." - read more here.

The Great Red Dragon or Satan as described in the Book of Revelations can be seen in the following watercolor paintings created between 1805-1810 by William Blake.

"The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun"

"The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun"
View more of the Red Dragon series here.

And one more dragon related work by Blake, The above engraving is from 1795 and titled Tornado, "added to the third edition of The Botanic Garden by Erasmus Darwin."

Raphael Sanzio - St Michael and the Dragon, oil on wood 1505. It's interesting to see the influence of Hieronymus Bosch in the work of Raphael, if only he'd made more paintings like this! Here is the religious text the above painting is based upon...

"In the Epistle of Jude of the New Testament in verse 9, Michael disputes with Satan over the body of Moses. In Revelation 12:7-8, "And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven." John describes Satan being thrown out of heaven three and a half years from the end of the age, "a time, times and half a time" Revelation 12:14. Satan being thrown from heaven coincides with the "abomination that causes desolation" as spoken of by the prophet (Daniel 9:27)."

The above is a wood engraving by Gustave Doré, a frontpiece from the book "Les Aventures du Chevalier Jaufre et de la belle Brunissende" dated 1856.

Jacopo Bellini - A warrior fighting a dragon, print from 15th century.

Cadmus and the Serpent, from Book 3 of Ovid's Metamorphses. View more woodcuts and engravings from this book here.
An image of Perseus freeing Andromeda attributed to Moritze Meurer. Image found thanks to Peacay Chez.

Tomorrow will be devoted to the many artworks surrounding the knight and the dragon.