reblog: Isle of the Dead

Posted: August 10, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

originally posted on my old blog: Gypsyscarlett: Writing the Victorian Gothic on Dec 13, 2010

Artists in all fields are inspired by each other.

One of the most famous examples of creativity enriching creativity involves, The Isle of the Dead.

Arnold Böcklin (Swiss Symbolist painter, 1827-1901)  painted five versions of a painting thus titled, between 1880 and 1886.   All renderings depict  a rowboat arriving at a seawall.  In the bow, stands a figure clad in white.

Böcklin would not elaborate on its meaning, only saying,  ” It is a dream picture: it must produce such a stillness that one would be awed by a knock on the door.”

Many have interpretated the white-clad figure as Charon, leading human souls into the Greek underworld.

File:Isola dei Morti IV (Bocklin).jpg

In 1907,  upon viewing the painting, Sergei Rachmaninoff began composing a tone poem in its name.  The work, now considered a classic of late Russian Romanticism, was finished the following year.

In 1945,  Val Lewton produced a classic horror film with the same title.  The script, written by Ardel Wray, was inspired by the painting, and involves a group of quarrantined islanders who begin to die, one by one.

isle of the dead

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Comments
  1. sputnitsa says:

    Ooh. I love. And love that he wouldn’t explain it. And want to find this tone poem now…

  2. You can listen to it on YouTube. It’s a great piece of music. 🙂

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