Odysseus blinding the Cyclops
The Book of the Queen, France (Paris), c. 1410 – c. 1414, Harley MS 4431, f. 105r - via
Hendrick ter Brugghen - St. Sebastian Tended by Irene and her Maid (1625)
Auguste Rodin (French sculptor, 1840-1917), Orpheus and Eurydice, c. 1887-1893. Marble, height 50 in. (127 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.
The sculture seems to be featured on the album sleeve of the new Arcade Fire album “Reflektor”.
It depicts the mythological story of Orpheus, a musician and poet, and his wife, the nymph Eurydice, who dies after a satyr tries to rape her. Orpheus, overcome with grief, travels to the underwold to save his love from the dead. With help of his music he convinces the god of the underworld to release Eurydice, on the condition that he should walk in front of her, not being allowed to look at her until they both reach the upper world. Unfortunately, Orpheus in his delight turns around as soon as he reaches the surface, forgetting that she is supposed to be in upper world as well. And so, she disappears again - this time forever.
Dame Assise de Trois-quarts (detail), Artemisia Gentileschi, 17th century
London-based artist Michael James Talbot creates beautiful sculptures of elongated women inspired by Greek mythology and Venetian masquerades. The surreal representations merge the human form with abstract and exaggerated shapes, most often presenting a visual extension of the female’s garment. Altogether the sculptures stand tall, some even reaching heights greater than 6 feet tall.
The sculptor manages to seamlessly integrate the dramatic stretch of the bottom half of each figure in an unobtrusive way. Sometimes the woman’s foot will peek out, high above the granite base, though often the illusion of the draping material elegantly runs straight down to the bottom. The elaborate length seems to complement the figurative structures.
Talbot creates his captivating pieces by molding clay and casting each sculpture in bronze. He then proceeds to finish with chemical patination, adding a new sense of character to the already expressive figures. The artist says, “The human form gives me an endless source of inspiration. The subtlest of movements and expressions can be captured in the sculpture to portray a myriad of emotions and convey tension, drama, fluidity and grace. No other subject has this richness of emotional and spiritual content or the capacity to convey such a broad and interesting narrative.”
Johann Jakob Wick, Burning of three witches in Baden, Switzerland, 1585