Monday, December 19, 2016

Gustave Dore

Paul Gustave Dore was an artist that grabs the attention of students when they see his work.  What really blows their minds is when they understand how he creates his art.  At first glance, you would think that he works in pencils.  Look below at this image from Don Quixote:

If you are as old as I am, you may have remembered him fighting the windmill with a huge toothbrush from some Saturday morning commercial

However, he was too hard core for that.  He made his art as prints.  Which means that he took a block of wood and carved out everything that is white.  Then he would dip the block in ink and press it onto the paper.  On top of all that, he never had any formal training.  He is completely self taught.  That might be one reason that the art critics of his day did not like him.

He did illustrations for many books, some you may teach, like...

Paradise Lost

Take that, Satan!


The Inferno


The students always points out that he doesn't have three faces, but it is still a cool image.  If you look closely enough, you can see him chewing on Judas.

The Bible



Idylls of the King



Rime of the Ancient Mariner



This is only a sample.  If you teach old stuff (which you probably do), there is a possibility that he did a plate for it.  You can see more of his work here:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Dor%C3%A9

Monday, December 12, 2016

Up on the House Top Sleipnir Hooves...

This post was originally posted in 2008 on a mythology blog I used to run called Bubo's Blog.  I felt it was time to show it again.  

Other titles for this blog could have been "Here Comes Odin Right Down Odin Lane!"

That's right.  It is that time of year again and time to get ready for Odin coming and giving presents and such.  Yes, I have probably lost it long ago, but no I'm not like Linus believing in the Great Pumpkin (well, maybe a little).  No, I'm referring to Odin's big Yule hunting party.

During Yule, Odin leads a large hunting party through the sky on his great eight-legged horse Sleipnir (a great story about Sleipnir's birth involves Loki, a randy horse, and the rest can wait for another time).  

Now Sleipnir can't fly (silly - only reindeer), but he can leap great distances (like the Hulk).  Children 

would leave their boots near the chimney.  They filled it with carrots, straw, and sugar so that Sleipnir would be able to eat.  Odin, touched by the children's kindness, would fill up the children's boots with sweets and gifts.

Happy Yule!