Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Lord of the Sea

I'm afraid I'm ill and pressed for time, but did not want to leave the blog unattended, so here is a featured painting for the evening. A lord of the sea:


The painting is Ulmo, Lord of Waters, by Roger Garland (you can visit his gallery here), who is probably one of the most innovative and unusual of modern fantasy artists, a crafter of dreamscenes. The figure depicted is from J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarillion:

At times he will come unseen to the shores of Middle-earth, or pass far inland up firths of the sea, and there make music upon his great horns, the Ulumuri, that are wrought of white shell; and those to whom that music comes hear it ever after in their hearts, and longing for the sea never leaves them again.

I feature Garland's art here because his painting does justice to Tolkien's poetry, speaking to it as one sister to another - it is more than just an illustration. It is potent, evocative. It is also one of the few art pieces I know that does justice to the concept of a sea-god.

Ah! the Ulumuri. There is an echo of Wordsworth in that - or rather, Wordsworth is hearing the same echo that Tolkien is.

So might I, standing in this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses, that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus coming from the sea;
And hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

Readers! Out of poetry, art, or song, what is your most memorable image of a lord of the sea?

4 comments:

conteurlisa said...

There's a sculpture of Neptune in Copenhagen. Classical in style with his three-pronged spear. But the look on his face and the lean of his body make it seem as though he could get up at any moment and dive back into the sea.

Dante's Heart said...

Dear Lisa,

Is this the one you mean:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7d/Poseidon_sculpture_Copenhagen_2005.jpg/596px-Poseidon_sculpture_Copenhagen_2005.jpg

Or a lesser known one?

He does look eager to leap off that pedestal. And how suggestive of storms and wind his beard is.

Dante's Heart said...

Let me try that URL again:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/
thumb/7/7d/Poseidon_sculpture_Copenhagen_2005.jpg/
596px-Poseidon_sculpture_Copenhagen_2005.jpg

In 3 pieces. I must learn how to post links here.

conteurlisa said...

Yes! That's the one!