Friday, December 6, 2013

Turnus the barbarian prince 1973

Well, that's enough for 1972. In 1973 I foreswore fantasy cardinals and went to the Classics for inspiration. This armored guy is Turnus, the king of a barbarian tribe that lived, according to Vergil's Aeneid, in the area of Latium which would later be the first territory of the Romans. The immigrant Trojans, led by Aeneas, must fight their way into that kingdom to establish their home, and Turnus is Aeneas' enemy. Ultimately they fight a single combat which decides the fate of the land. Most high school readings of Vergil's "Aeneid" don't read the later chapters but these texts are full of gods and goddesses, bloody battles, barbarian tribesmen, and enough sword-and-sandal adventure to satisfy any modern fantasy reader. 

The armor here is mostly my fantasy design but some elements such as the horsehair helmet crest and the scale-mail armor did appear in ancient Roman armor. But they probably weren't worn by native Italian tribesmen. Vergil's text is itself a nostalgic fantasy based on a nationalist founding myth rather than what we would think of as historical scholarship.

I drew this with my Pelikan Graphos. I could get a real thin, etching-style line with it using sepia ink which was waterproof so I could color it later.

"Turnus" is ink and watercolor on sketchbook page, 4" x 7", April 1973. Click on the image for a larger view.

No comments: