I went to a wonderful exhibit of prints by Albrecht Durer today, including many of his most famous – The Knight, Death, and the Devil, Melancholia, and St. Jerome in his study. Looking at the detail from an image in his Apocalypse series shown above, (full image) I was struck by the forlorn aspect of this beast from hell as he vomits fire onto the world. He doesn’t want to do it, but he must. It’s his life. Laying waste to the world. Godzilla had his tragic aspect too, no?
I was also struck by the vomit imagery, so much like this visual trope that is to be found in Maakies again and again. (See the whole strip here.) It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Tony Millionaire were a fan of Durer.
And then, there is that beautiful image of the Prodigal Son at the moment when he is inspired to return to his father and beg his forgiveness. I can’t help but think that the pigs, on which Durer has lavished so much loving attention, are looking at the wayward son slyly, a little knowingly…”Oh, you’re leaving are you? Well, be gone with you. We have eating to do…“
I was much taken as well by this image of Christ before Pilate, a woodcut from his Small Passion series. I love the slightly crazy steps, rendered carefully in perspective but not like any steps I’ve seen lately. They give it a slightly dreamlike atmosphere, I think.