Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Mythological misalliances: the art of Max Pirner

The Sleepwalker
Today's fabulous Victorian/Edwardian artist is a bit of an obscurity, but clearly a man after my own heart. Maxmilian Pirner (1854-1924, and you may need an online translator) was a Czech who loved painting symbolist and mythological subjects, preferably ones with boobies in, and actually did a series on "mythological misalliances" - i.e. sexual mismatches - and if this lot aren't Ashblessy, I don't know what is!

Guess which one's my favourite, ahem?

Here's his take on the triple-goddess of witchcraft Hekate, complete with attributes of moon, flaming torch etc - he knew his stuff.

This grim allegorical piece is called Homo Homini Lupus - "man is wolf to man" and shows the natural world watching in amazement as Humanity (still semi-animal in some characteristics) is raised above them as both god and sacrificial victim.

... I think. Symbolists eh? 

The Temptation of St. Jerome is a good old-fashioned saintly subject, yet somehow I reckon this treatment is not entirely suitable for church display:

He did a few excellent portrayals of Medusa - along with sleepwalkers, she seems to have been a subject that fascinated him:

Here she is again in Finis: the End of all Things

... with Death hanging over her shoulder:

But if you don't want to end on a sombre note, here's The Prey, which is a dark joke ...

The lady leads the ogre home for supper, having successfully captured dragon, knight, and his steed!


Jo said...

St. Jerome gets the side-eye, more like.

Is it me, or does he have a giant boner too?

NickH said...

Splendid article, savoured it.