This picture is precious to me, so much so that I never tried very hard to sell it. It now resides in my closet with other art, after being on the wall for many years. This character is from my world of Noantri. He is Redon IV (Redon the Fourth), the first ruler of the kingdom of Eridu on Noantri New Earth. He is one of the Theophores, or bearers of great psychic power, who held the Gateway open so that the Noantri people could travel to their new world. He and his associates founded the city of Eridu very early in New Earth history. The center of the city was the Great Library, a place not only of collected learning and memory but of government and civilization. The leader of the city was a pope-like figure called the Ensi, meant to be a philosopher king. Redon was the first Ensi. He is known as Fourth because he was a living Avatar, reincarnated for the fourth time and in full possession of the memories of his previous three lives. He would go on to complete his cycle in five more incarnations. Here he is depicted on the top balustrade of the Great Library, looking out over his city as the dawn approaches.
I've written heaps of text about my imaginary world and its people. All of my texts now gather either real or pixel dust in my storage spaces. I do have a Noantri blog at pyracantha.com but I don't add to it very often. If anyone is interested, I will post more Noantri stuff. They don't have dragons in Noantriworld, though.
This figure was done from a real model, Maryland costumer Marty Gear, who patiently posed in my hat and cloak while I photographed him. The painting is inspired by a work by French artist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, "Saint Genevieve Watches over Paris." I didn't intend to copy it literally; I just wanted the mood of the Puvis painting, which was done in 1898. I gave this painting a "cover format" composition (empty top half as background for lettering) just in case I ever decided to publish my imaginary histories.
"The Philosopher King" is acrylic on illustration board, 16" x 24", August 1992. Clicquez-vous for a larger view.