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“He is the devil.  He is smoke.”  Hannibal-inspired Mexican nicho.

Will Graham tarot spread

Will Graham tarot spread

The tarot spread I used for Will’s pre-The Wrath of the Lamb reading is a ten card spread from the tiny tarot deck I used in the nicho.  I only used the Major Arcana and the interpretation is from Biddy Tarot:

  1. The Moon
  2. The Hierophant
  3. The Chariot
  4. Wheel of Fortune [reversed]
  5. Justice
  6. The Lovers
  7. The Hermit
  8. The Tower
  9. The Emperor [reversed]
  10. Death

A detailed explanation of the reading is below the cut.

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retro

Fictitious Time article in The Great Red Dragon

This “article” appears to be pieced together from several sources.  It is fragmented and frequently repeats itself.  The ellipses are used to indicate what is assumed to be missing text.

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WILLIAM BLAKE: A RETROSPECTIVE

Dismissed by his contemporaries as a madman, William Blake (1757 – 1827) finally emerges as a vital and influential artist for the modern age.

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing circa 1786 by William Blake 1757-1827

In what is one of William Blake’s most famous watercolors, The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun, the Dragon stands with his back facing the viewer, wings unfurled from a muscular back, legs spread firmly apart with one foot tipping forward in anticipation.  The woman below him, entwined in his tail, gazes up in distress while holding her hands over her head as an entreaty…

Or is it an invitation?  In addition to fearsome apocalyptic grandiosity (the watercolor was commissioned around 1803 by Blake’s patron Thomas Butts to illustrate the Biblical Book of Revelation), the sexual energy suffusing the work is palpable.  The Dragon is both beast and human.  And the woman is both frightened and welcoming.  It’s a kinetic painting: purposefully uncomfortable, emotionally dynamic, and undeniably as personal as it is Biblical.

A modern audience may quickly identify the psychological underpinnings of the Great Red Dragon in the erotic symbolism of the water and the phallic tail, but Blake’s pre-Freudian contemporaries often reacted with puzzlement at his works.  Blake produced non-academic, esoteric pieces that contained little of the classical themes or accepted symbolism of his time.  Unlike his fellow painters J.M.W. Turner and John Constable who sought inspiration in the visible – human subjects and the natural world – Blake sought inspiration inwardly in his personal mindscape of dreams and visions.

William Blake was born to a moderately wealthy family in London on November 28, 1757, to his mother Catherine, and his father James, a hosier.  At the age of four, he saw his first vision: the face of God in his window.  At age nine, he saw a vision of a “tree full of angels.”  Bake continued experiencing visions for the rest of his life, seeing angels, prophets and souls walking among the living in the streets of London.  Because of what he saw, he considered his hometown to be a heavenly city, and was inspired to write the poems “Heavenly London” and “Jerusalem.”

Blake started engraving copies of drawings of Greek antiquities purchased […]

The Night of Enitharmons Joy, often referred to as The Triple Hecate or simply Hecate, is a 1795 work of art by the English artist and poet William Blake which depicts Enitharmon, a female character in his mythology, or Hecate, a chthonic Greco-Roman goddess of magic and the underworld.  The work presents a nightmarish scene with fantastic creatures.  The Hecate is painted with deep tones and bold masses.  Blake employed a new technique whose “effect is darker and richer than [his] illuminated books”. One scholar interprets his colour print Hecate thus:

“She is triple according to mythology: a girl and a boy hide their heads behind her back.  her left hand lies on a book of magic; her left food is extended.  She is attended by a thistle-eating ass, the mournful owl of false wisdom, the head of a crocodile (blood-thirsty hypocrisy), and a cat-headed bat.“

The Night of Enitharmon's Joy (formerly called 'Hecate') circa 1795 by William Blake 1757-1827

Blake often drew on Michelangelo to create and compose his epic images, including Hecate’s, according to a consensus of critics.  “Blake is indebted to Michelangelo for many of his great forms”.  Michelangelo contributed many “characters to Blake’s gallery of mythic persons and heroes”.  Regarding the Hecate colour print, a suggested trail may be traced.  From Michelangelo, Blake copied his early sketch entitled the Reposing Traveller, which then evolved into a figure for his work (1795-1797) regarding Night Thoughts, and also into the similarly posed figure of Hecate here.

The image may also allude to the Three Fates – the Moirai of Greek mythology and the Parcae of Roman.  Notwithstanding these allusions, critics point out that a contemporary trigger for Blake’s inspiration probably was the return popularity of Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.  As Hecate listens offstage, the three witches, in arranging Macbeth’s doom, chant: “Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble”.  Each witch in turn adds her verses, the second’s being:for him by his father. […]

“Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frong,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”
– Macbeth

[…] practice that was preferred to actual drawing.  Within these drawings Blake found his first exposure to classical forms through the work of Raphael, Michelangelo, Maarten van Heemskerck and Albrecht Durer.  The number of prints and bound books that James and Catherine were able to purchase for young William suggests that the Blakes enjoyed, at least for a time, a comfortable wealth.  The […]

Episode 3.12: The Number of the Beast is 666

“Then I [John of Patmos] saw a second beast, coming out of the earth.  It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon.  It exercised all authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.  And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people.  Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of earth. … The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.  It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark… or the number of its name.

“This calls for wisdom.  Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast… That number is 666.”  (New International Version)

William Blake The Number of the Beast is 666

The Number of the Beast is 666 by William Blake

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Richard Armitage as The Great Red Dragon

In both pictures above, the Dragon displays his glory for the Beast from the Sea.  in the Blake painting, however, the Beast from the Earth joins them in the guise of a sheep-like creature – a lamb but not a lamb – the proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

As frequently as Will is referred to as a lamb throughout the series, the appearance of the second Beast cannot be dismissed.  There is a dichotomy to Will:  He is kind and he is a killer.  He is dedicated to justice and he’s willing to bend the rules.  Hell, for the second half of Season 2, he’s so dichotomous that even he doesn’t know where his sympathies and loyalties lie.  Will is at once the Christ-figure of the Lamb and the minion of evil, a lamb-beast.

When you boil it all down, you have a lamb with a temper and a beastie that looks nonthreatening.  There really is no better description of the dual aspects of Will.

Anyway… things don’t end so well for this merry band of baddies:  The Dragon gets bound in chains for a thousand years and the Beasts get thrown alive into a fiery lake of burning sulfur.  But at least the beasts go together, I suppose.  To keep one another company in hell.

See: Part 1, The Woman and The Dragon & Part 3, The Beast Out of the Sea

Episodes:
3.8: The Great Red Dragon
3.9: … and the Woman Clothed with the Sun
3.10: … and the Woman Clothed in Sun

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. … Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads.  Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to earth. …

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The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun by William Blake

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Richard Armitage as The Great Red Dragon

“Then war broke out in heaven.  Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. …

“When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman… The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.” (New International Version)

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The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun by William Blake

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Rutina Wesley as Reba McClane

See: Part 2, The Beast Out of the Earth & Part 3, The Beast Out of the Sea

Episode:
3.11: … and the Beast from the Sea

“And I [John of Patmos] stood on the shore of the sea.  And I saw a beast coming out of the sea.  It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.  The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion.  The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. … People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast.” (New International Version)

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If Francis is the Dragon, Hannibal is the Beast from the Sea.  How is it possible, though, for Francis to give power to Hannibal?  Ostensibly, Hannibal is the more powerful of the two.  However, three years have passed since Hannibal has been a menace, a danger, a powerful Beast.  Francis doesn’t so much give his power to Hannibal as he provides Hannibal the opportunity to resurrect his own power.  Through Francis the old gang reunites, will returns to Hannibal, Hannibal becomes involved in FBI investigations again, returns Hannibal to the tabloid spotlight, provides him with an opportunity for mischief, etc.

Further evidence of this power by proxy is that Francis is only truly able to become the dragon when he is influencee, supported and protected by Hannibal.  it is in the shadow of Hannibal’s power that Francis is able to flourish.

See: Part 1, The Woman and The Dragon & Part 2, The Beast Out of the Earth

Episode 11(ish): The Number of the Beast is 666

“The seals are being opened…” – Hannibal

Revelations 5 tells of a scroll with seven seals that only the Lamb (Christ) is worthy of opening.  In Revelations 6, a new aspect of the Judgment/Apocalypse is revealed with every broken seal.  The chaos of the Judgment is not actually set into motion by the act of breaking the seals; rather, Revelations 6 serves as a dumbshow of sorts, introducing the cast of characters and each of their roles in the forthcoming chaos.

The First Seal: 1st Horseman – Anti-Christ & Conqueror

“I [John of Patmos] watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. … I looked, and there before me was a white horse!  Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” (x)(x)

The Second Seal: 2nd Horseman – War, Slaughter & Bloodshed

“… the Lamb opened the second seal…  Then another horse came out, a fiery red one.  Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other.  To him was given a large sword.” (x)

The Third Seal: 3rd Horseman – Famine

“…the Lamb opened the third seal… and there before me was a black horse!  Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.  Then I heard what sounded like a voice… saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages and do not damage the oil and the wine!” (x)(x)

The Fourth Seal: 4th Horseman – Pestilence & Death

“…the Lamb opened the fourth seal… I looked, and there before me was a pale horse!  Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.  They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (x)(x)

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Death on a Pale Horse by William Blake

The Fifth Seal: Souls of the Martyrs

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.  They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”  Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.” (x)(x)

The Sixth Seal: Cosmic Signs

“I watched as he opened the sixth seal.  There was a great earthquake.  The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth… The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” (x)(x)

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from Episode 3.08: The Wrath of the Lamb

“Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains They called to the mountains and the rocks,

‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!  For the great day of his wrath has come, and who can withstand it?’” (x)

The Seventh Seal: Silence

“When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”

Then the machinations of the seals and the chaos of Judgment begin.

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The Last Judgment by William Blake

(Biblical source)

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Figure with Meat by Francis Bacon

“I think Francis Bacon was the… first artist who I was like ‘Oh my god!  He’s inside my head.  I love this.’  It is so horrific and beautiful at the same time that a lot of Francis Bacon went into Hannibal.”

Bryan Fuller, Pannibal, SDCC 2015

 

The painting SATURN by the Spanish artist GOYA.

Saturn by Francisco Goya

“I don’t actually find the William Blake paintings particularly disturbing. … but I’ve used Francisco Goya’s Saturn painting a number of times for different roles.  There’s just something about that image which comes back into my head frequently like a piece of music that you rely on to stimulate a response and that’s the picture for me.  And I actually used it for Red Dragon as well as the Blake.”

Richard ArmitagePannibal, SDCC 2015

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Portrait of Eduard Kosmack by Egon Schiele

“I do remember when I was at school my mother went to see an exhibition of Egon Schiele paintings in London and brought the catalog back for me and it kind of blew my mind.  That was quite a significant moment in my art awareness.”

Hugh Dancy, Pannibal, SDCC 2015

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Still life by Giorgio Morandi

“There’s an Italian painter, Morandi, who does still life and I’ve always just loved still life.  It’s very peaceful and has a lot of texture and you can read whatever you want into it.  It’s inanimate but gives me peace.”

Martha De Laurentiis, Pannibal, SDCC 2015

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