Saturday, November 15, 2008

Anahit Vart: Artist

Anahit Vart, Green Knight

In my post of November 10th, I noted that I had been looking for an image of a painting by Guillermo PĂ©rez Villalta showing "a naked green man astride a green horse" -- for I was wondering if the artist were depicting the antagonist in the Pearl Poet's strange poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight -- and I learned of a different 'knight', the Moor Alfatami, who also had a green horse (but was himself not green), and while looking for a possible depiction of this Moor and his green horse, I Googled onto the above image of a green knight on a green 'horse' painted by Anahit Vart.

A commercial website that also shows an image of this painting suggests that the scene is connected to the "Arthurian legend," but the site offers no substantiation. Taking a slight risk, I emailed the artist to inquire:

I am curious about your painting Green Knight (2001?). Is it inspired by the Pearl Poet's 14th-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight? I hope that you don't mind that I posted an image of your painting on my blog . . . . There, I speculate that there might be a source other than the Pearl Poet's poem, for the imagery in your painting looks different than what is found in the poem. Are you drawing upon Armenian legends? Or possibly Russian ones?
Today, Ms. Vart replied:
Your email was nice surprise for me and I'm very happy see my painting on your blog. My painting is my interpretation of a story about "Sleepy Beauty", but I painted some elements from Armenia like [the] mountain Ararat (on a left bottom corner). You have very interesting site, I think I will get a lot new information from there. I'm sending to you my late artwork image inspired by Spain where I traveled last year.
I wonder if Sleepy Beauty is the same story as Sleeping Beauty. Anyway, the painting seems to come from a different cycle of Romance fiction than the Arthurian legends. For yet another image of 'romance', I'm posting the artwork inspired by Ms. Vart's trip through Spain:

Anahit Vart
Scene from Spain
(Image sent from Anahit Vart)

I don't know if this depicts a scene from Carnival or one from a masked ball. Perhaps if Ms. Vart visits again, she can inform us. Whether the painting is of Carnival or a ball, the verdant branch borne by the lady leads me to wonder about possible symbolism. From what I've seen at Ms. Vart's website, many of her paintings have a mysterious quality that suggests to me larger meanings drawn from stories. Possibly, she might tell us about this as well.

Or perhaps all will remain a mystery.

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