Terrance Lindall's "Infernal Serpent"
For those who might not know about the modern-day surrealist artist Terrance Lindall, click on the Wikipedia link above for a good overview of the man and artist.
I first learned of him in the latter 1970s, probably from his artwork for the science fiction and fantasy comics magazine Heavy Metal, but I don't think that I learned of his interest in John Milton's Paradise Lost until after I had begun publishing articles on the epic poem myself. Not long after I discovered Lindall's interest, I blogged on his Paradise Lost images, and to my surprise, he left a comment of thanks. We have become cyber-friends over the years since then, and I've even become a nominal member of his Paradise Lost Committee -- cyber-netically based at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center (WAH) -- in which my primary responsibility lies in posting the occasional blog entry alerting interested readers to Lindall's current work on Milton.
That's what I'm up to this morning, for Lindall has informed me -- and the others on his email list -- that he is making progress on the Elephant Folio, a book of illustrations inspired by Milton's Paradise Lost. He will be continuing to work on this for the rest of this year and much of the next, for it is painstaking work -- a hand-embellished, gold illuminated, 23-inch-by-18-inch printed book with 14 full-page illustrations. Ten copies, each copy with one original conceptual drawing at the front, will be produced, though a larger number of unembellished copies will also be available. Anyway, here's his report on the imagery (in all-caps) -- and you'll see that Lindall's interest in Milton extends beyond the aesthetic to the intellectual:
I have the INFERNAL SERPENT page where I want it and am moving to PANDEMONIUM AND ENAMOURED. I will tweak it later after more of the major plates are finished. The INFERNAL SERPENT page is very important since it is the answer to the question that begins the masterwork ". . .who first seduced them (Adam & Eve) to that foul revolt?" The most beloved of God (before the Son was created), Lucifer is standing on the conceptual egg of the possibility of what he will become as Historical Will (God's creative aspect) transpires through the exercise of potentiality and actuality.As is evident, Mr. Lindall is a many of extensive knowledge and many talents, and apparently gifted with good social skills, for he manages to bring together artists, musicians, and scholars to participate in his visionary projects and apparently even succeeds in obtaining the funds to support such endeavors.
I am dedicating this plate to Dance, just as I have dedicated the Title page to music. The two dancers here are standing on the pillars of "Envy & Revenge." We have had wonderful dedicated dancers at the WAH center, especially Yana Schnitzler who, though in demand around the world, has always been there when we called, as well as the renowned Yin Mei. And since this work is on the cover of Modern Library's "Essential Milton," I will put the names of the great scholars, Fallon, Rumrich & Kerrigan somewhere in this plate also.
Those interested in gazing like Israelites upon the brassy, life-giving, "Infernal Serpent" must wait no more, for here is the image of a modern-day Nehushtan (Numbers 21 4-9; cf. 2 Kings 18:4; John 3:14-15):
I believe that clicking on it will increase the image for better viewing. Below is a detail, a close-up of one of the two dancers atop the pillar envy (or so I suppose):
For more on this project, click here.