Paradise Lost, The Merkavah by valkeerie ()
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Paradise Lost is one of the most illustrated poems. William Blake was mildly obsessed by it, Fuseli gave a public exhibition of his illustrations. Best known are the 50 woodblock engravings by the prolific 19th century French illustrator Gustav Dore.
Many of the scenes present a formidable challenge to the illustrator- nudity, complexity, scale, sacred cows etc. Should Satan look like a devil, or is he a fallen angel, still luminous. What is the apparel in Heaven? Should we depict the foes much as Milton saw them, like heroic armies in the Iliad or the Aeneid? Or should we depict them in a form ideally suited to modern taste, as cosmic superheros, like Thanos and the Avengers? I thought I would have a crack at one of the key scenes, and try to imitate the look of Dore's woodblocks.
After two days of stalemate the fallen angels led by Satan, and the loyal angels led by Michael, have fought each other to a standstill and trashed Heaven. God has had enough. He gives his Son his chariot and out goes the Messiah to crush the rebels in a moment that is pure Tianamen Square.
The Hebrew name for this throne/chariot is Merkavah. It is described in a vision of the prophet Ezekiel, and it is, to put it bluntly, a bit mad. In modern Hebrew the work Merkavah means "tank" - like Sherman, T34, Centurion - that kind of tank.
So the Son of God sallies out in his magico-mystical chariot first described by an exiled Babylonian Jew and crushes the rebels.
Image Comments (4)
JoeJarrah () Online Now! 7:11AM | Mon, 25 May 2020
Superb; really dramatic and tons of engaging details. You've clearly researched this in depthm, and all that work shows in the result.
PandaB5 () 1:14PM | Mon, 25 May 2020
Excellent and fascinating render - very interesting description too.