Monday, May 17, 2010

la Comedia de la Muerte

I have been invited to create some art for a gallery opening. The theme of the opening is the Mexican/Latin American holiday "Día de los Muertos" translated as The Day of the Dead. An interesting holiday. A cross-pollination of thousands years plus indegenous Aztec festival of Mictecacihuatl and the introduction of All Saint's Day from the Spanish and European Christians.

I have tackled the theme with a little more cross-pollination.
The Italian "Commedia dell'arte", (comedy of the profession), which spread throughout Medieval France and England. It is this Pantomine and Theatre that created the iconic characters Pierrot, Columbine and Harlequin.
I think you will enjoy doing a little reading and research of the "Commedia dell'arte", , it's rich history and the long history of each the theatre's characters. Some of these characters extend back to the ancient Wild Hunt motif and Greek mythos.

With the "Commedia dell'arte" as my genesis and the Day of the Dead the influence, it developed logically into my triptych "la Comedia de la Muerte", the "Comedy of Death". In the theatre of the Spirit World the Dead would enjoy my pantomime.

This stage of the triptych illustration is the completed(?) black & white inking.
I have left it at this stage because I do not know if I will continue with anymore inking.
I suspect I may be done. I will likely spend some more time staring for hours in the evening with a cigar or two mulling over in my mind what changes I may do.

The triptych will be in color and I believe the illustrations here will not have anymore inking or additions. I have left the art at this stage with so much negative space so that I can use colors for mood, dimension and balance.

Unfortunately the images here are stacked top to bottom. So, please picture the panels from left to right. Pierrot on the left, Columbine the middle triptych and Harlequin the final triptych on the right. Here Pierrot and Harlequin serenade the "new" understudy Columbine.






  1. amazing, as expected. i especially like Pierrot and imagine him as a Halloween card :D

  2. I gets it! I can't wait to see it really come "alive" with color and ambiance. I bow to thee, oh Lord of black and white inking -- which I guess means I shall have to anoint thy feet and kiss 'em when the color and ambiance appear!

  3. OH! They are simply beautiful! Will you be selling prints, and the triptych set on your etsy site when they are finished?

  4. Thanks folks!
    Reneeeeeeee of Faeeeeeee! Yes, I do plan on making the prints available after the gallery showing. Which I believe is the middle of NOvember.


  5. i really like the simplicity as they are too. i was just talking about the day of the dead with my friends recently. it's a extremely fascinating ritual to me... idea of death is so diverse all over the world!

  6. OH yeah, don't add any background- except maybe the names of the cards-- right now they remind me of the images in Loteria cards, tres evocative.