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Arnold Böcklin: (1827-1901)

Isle of the Dead and Others

Asbjørn Hammervik aka Malken

Arnold didn't produce an extensive body of works, but nonetheless, his art is an amazing source for inspiration. His masterpiece, and only widely known work is "The Isle of the Dead," or "A Picture to Dream by." This amazing piece depicts a lonely cliff island, strange ruins cut into the sheer clifface. Towards a tiny gate in the middle of the picture, a lone, white figure stands in a rowboat. And it truly does inspire you to dreams. Any story could be spun from this picture. Is this a real place, perhaps a domain? Why is this figure here? To raise a dead friend? Is he escaping the Isle of the Dead?

In a Masque campaign, one could actually meet Böcklin. This raises interesting questions. Why did he draw this? Has he been there? Maybe a crazed collector sets out to find this place, bringing both the PCs and the poor painter?

You can find a copy of this picture here, and one other painting of his that is quite fit for RL. Please note, however, that this is an early version of the painting, and as such isn't as appealing. In addition, in this painting the boat is going away, in the later picture it is rowing into the island, which is much bigger and more majestetic.... http://www.artchive.com/artchive/B/boecklin.html

Goya - Incantation


The Black Paintings, others

Nathan Okerlund

Less bizarre but more horrifying are many of the late works of Goya, including his famous Black Paintings. What kind of guy fills one wall of his house with an illustration of a witches' Sabbath? Goya does!


Hieronymus Bosch


Nathan Okerlund

Bosch generally painted large landscapes chock-full of bizarre figures--fish-demons, humans sprouting roots, a creature composed of two ears and a knife blade. The Nightmare Lands Illustrated, perhaps.


Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Judith Beheading Holofernes and Others

Asbjørn Hammervik aka Malken

Another guy that would be quite fit for Ravenloft. Caravaggio was a drunkard, pediophile, and brawler, but he could definitely paint pictures. Both his personae and his paintings would just slide right into any domain of CL 8 or above. I especially imagine him as great for Richemulot or Invidia... Especially "Judith Beheading Holofernes" (http://www.artchive.com/artchive/C/caravaggio/judith.jpg.html) would fit neatly into these lands of intrigue and passion. Maybe the PCs could find this old painting hanging on a wall, claiming to have been painted before Richemulots creation? Or perhaps it could be made to resemble Gabrielle Aderre slaying some scorn lover?


Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Dulle Griet, The Triumph of Death

Nathan Okerlund

These two paintings are similar to those of Bosch; most of Bruegel's work is more normal. The Triumph of Death might make a good foreshadowing for the Requiem or the Time of Ultimate Darkness, as an apocalyptic "message in paint" to adventurers....


William Blake (1757-1827)

The Book of Urizen and Others

Asbjørn Hammervik aka Malken

If there ever was an artist that would fit neatly in the Land of Mists, it would be Blake. Mystic, poet, and visual artist, Blake claimed to be a visionary, and invented his own belief system. A belief system in which the creator of the universe, Urizen, sent his son, Orc, to wreak havoc and revenge upon man. Blake's many illuminated manuscripts and powerful illustrations would serve neatly into almost any book in the Mists, or as the crazed doodles of a madman, seer or even Hyskosa himself!

Check out www.artchive.com for a sampling of his works: http://www.artchive.com/artchive/B/blake.html

Some of his most interesting pictures: The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun. Plate 2 (Preludium) from The Book of Urizen - with some editing, this could become a nice title page for the heretic sect the Cupbearers! (Just replace Urizen with Ezra...) Plate 7 from - this, on the other hand, channels more that Lawgiver wibe... Plate 9 from The Book of Urizen - I don't know what this channels. It's just plain freaky....


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