Thursday, April 7, 2011

new work: King Edgar (Edgar Allan Poe)

Here's a new assemblage that was recently added to our Etsy shop, In The Crystal Palace:

Kym Hepworth / King Edgar (Edgar Allan Poe) / 2011 / mixed media / 12 1/8 x 17 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.


excerpt from the poem The Haunted Palace:

"And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace-door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,

A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn! -for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home, the glory
That blushed and bloomed
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed. . . ."

- Edgar Allan Poe


The idea behind the visual imagery in this work was to create an association that would link 'King Edgar' with King Death. Poe's portrait is framed by a wreath with wings. This imagery references a motif found on 17th and 18th century gravestones - the winged death's head (see image below as an example). The winged death's head is a memento mori image (remember you will die). Another use of mourning art imagery is the wreath, which symbolizes victory of the deceased and redemption.

(source for above image: Maine's Coastal Cemeteries: A Historic Tour by Karen Wentworth Batignani, published by Down East Books, Camden, ME © 2003)

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