A new Armitage endeavor

Hello, you may know me as Obscura – I’ve been hanging around the Armitage blogosphere for about 8 months now, reading, commenting, ogling, objectifying, you know the drill.  I  wrote a guest post for Servetus at me+Richard Armitage and I’ve recently started posting fanfiction at Dreamer Fiction.  I have yet to fully figure out WordPress, and it seems that the name Obscura is already in use…maybe by me? (I don’t know since I’ve never officially registered with WP.)   I hope you will bear with me as I learn the ropes here since I don’t really know how or if this first post will work the way I’d like.

Anyway, a few weeks ago a friend, (you know who you are) suggested, that I take a look around for reflections of Richard Armitage on Greek ceRAmics.  I don’t remember the context of the suggestion, but it got me thinking, and then looking.  Lo and behold – with only a cursory look around the corpus of vases, I found a number of images that either bear a striking physical resemblance to the classical features of Mr. Armitage, or a certain thematic paRAllels to scenes from his body of work.  When I thought more about it, I concluded, why stop with vase painting?  There are several media in the classical tRAdition where I might well find such representations.  Thus, a blog is born.  Every so often I’ll bring you some images that struck me as Armitage-esque in one way or another and add a bit of commentary.  I’ll also interject with things I find relevant from time to time – hence the among other things in the tagline.  No time like the present I suppose, so here goes:

The recent release of The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey has left me with Thorin on the brain.  It is, therefore, not surprising that I came across a vase painting that reminded me distinctly of a scene from the film.  I have seen the vase below dozens of times, but I looked at it with fresh eyes this week.

Eupronios Krater

Eupronios Krater

This vase, which dates to around 515 B.C.E., has a storied history of its own, but it is the central scene depicting the fall of the hero Sarpedon on the battlefield of Troy that I am interested in.  Here we see the winged figures of Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death) lifting Sarpedon under the supervision of the god Hermes.  I see distinct similarities between this scene and the scene from TH where the fallen Thorin is removed from the battle with the Orcs by the giant eagle.

Screen Cap Courtesy of Servetus

Screen Cap Courtesy of Servetus

The scenes are certainly not identical, but there are a number of elements that echo between the two.  The fallen hero hanging limply in the grasp of his bearers and the imagery of winged rescuers are strikingly similar to me.  The image of the rescuing eagles flying into the rising sun can probably be read as a foreshadowing that for Thorin, unlike the dead Sarpedon, all is not lost.  In fact, if we play the film scene out further, to the carrock where the eagle releases Thorin, we might also see a similarity between Hermes, in his role as Psychopompos (bearer of souls), who will lead Sarpedon to the Elysian Fields – where Greek heroes go in death, and Gandalf, who will lead Thorin back to life by means of his magic.  I doubt Peter Jackson had this ancient scene in mind when he crafted his film, but I find the comparison rather interesting.

So there it is, installment 1.  Thoughts?

42 comments on “A new Armitage endeavor

  1. Servetus says:

    Reblogged this on Me + Richard Armitage and commented:
    Please welcome frequent commentor obscura to the blogosphere with a new blog, Ancient Armitage!

  2. obscura says:

    Welcome…thanks for the promo!

  3. fedoralady says:

    Cool beans, Obscura! Welcome to the world of Armitage-oriented blogging. I love how you are finding these ties between ancient classic artwork and Richard’s own work, giving yet another perspective on the artistry of Richard Armitage. Will look forward to future posts. 😀

    • obscura says:

      Thanks Angie and welcome! To all those who derisively asked, ” What are you going to do with THAT degree??” I say: TA-DAH!!

      • Leigh says:

        **applause** TAH-DAH indeed. This is exactly what it’s good for, among other things. Love this post and look forward to many more.

        • obscura says:

          Thanks Leigh – welcome to the symposium 🙂 I just had a brainstorm for another post while over at TAE…I may never get anything else done – this is way too much fun. It will be a good exercise in discipline for me 😉

          • Leigh says:

            Somehow, I find it easier to be disciplined about what I need to do when I take time for Richarding and the blogosphere.

          • obscura says:

            I can understand that – I think that once the new wears off a bit, this will be a really good thing overall for my time management. I am really bad at having a lot of “free” time, so if I can schedule things into blocks I tend to be more productive overall. This gives me something finite to work at 🙂

  4. jasrangoon says:

    Obscura, I’m so excited to see you’ve started your own blog! The idea of looking for RA and his characters in ancient artwork is really great. Looking forward to more! 🙂

    • obscura says:

      Thanks JAS and welcome to the party! Right now I’m hovering somewhere between excited and terrified 🙂 I can’t take credit for the idea, but I’ll happily take it for execution – we’ll see how brave I am, as you may have noticed from this 1st post, A LOT of classical art is naked 😉

  5. Welcome to the blogosphere Obscura! I really find the concept of linking RA’s characters with ancient art brilliant.Looking forward to your new posts 😀

  6. marieastra8 says:

    Well done! Very erudite. It’s wonderful when you can bring different enthusiasms, or in my case obsessions :), together. I find there is a feeling of psychic integration that results. I think that it is exciting to see things in light of other fields of study. I thank you for starting this blog. Who knew that I could learn about Greek art while Richarding! : D Looking forward to more!

    • obscura says:

      I’ve been feeling that sort of integration for a while now, I guess it was only a matter of time (and a very helpful suggestion!) Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Trudy says:

    This is great! Ancient art, literature, history, photography…being a Richard can really expand and enrich your mind! Who woulda thought?
    Must confess I thought at first glance we were going to liken the Hermes image to Thorin, with the beard and long hair…:)

    • obscura says:

      I know right?! In your face all you doubters who think we’re googley eyed ALL the time 🙂 It looks like there will be a couple of genres of Richard in ceRAmics…bearded and unbearded…stay tuned 😉 – I have no manners! Welcome!!

  8. Joanna says:

    CeRAmics! 🙂 I’m ready to absorb the knowledge.

  9. Kathy Jones says:

    Great idea to integrate Richard with ancient art. I admire anyone who can take on writing a blog, so you go girl. I haven’t looked at a Grecian urn since college, Back when we wore skins and cooked with fire.

    • obscura says:

      Thanks and welcome! Well, I have a lot of amazing blogs to model after, I hope I’ll be able to measure up! You must have graduated just before me…we transitioned from skins to togas my senior year 😉

  10. mujertropical says:

    Congratulations on having such a brilliant idea for a blog, and welcome. Even though I do not have your kind of knowledge I do love history and all the humanities, so I will love your posts, I’m sure. Thank you for taking the time to educate us! 🙂

    • obscura says:

      Thanks so much! The brilliance of the idea is pretty much indicative of its source (not me…it came out in comments over at me+Richard). I am happy to run with it though! We’ll see where it
      takes us. With hundreds of years of classical tRAdition, the possibilities are almost endless 🙂

  11. guylty says:

    Obscura!!!!! Bravo! I am so glad Servetus linked your blog over on me+r because otherwise I would not have known, you modest little mouse ;-). This looks great and sounds great. I LOVE art history and I really look forward to reading your posts on this topic. There’ll be much to learn and much to wonder. – For the “among other things” posts, I hope you’ll apply your expertise and maybe grace us with a post on Victorian sex. There, sorry, very pushy of me, after I already picked your brains on Tuesday. But hey, I am just throwing a few ideas at you.
    Welcome to the world of Armitage blogging 🙂

    • obscura says:

      LOL! Thanks Guylty and welcome!! Modesty and altruism in one week…I’ll have to get some bigger shirts to cover my wings. 😉 Maybe we can work out a trade…I’ll look into Victorian Sex for you – you give me a mini course on Tumblr? (I’d ask my son, but I’d rather he not be witness to the depths of our obsession, if you get my drift!)

      • guylty says:

        Oh hey, always at your disposal for some tumblr instruction 🙂 I like the idea of a trade-off 😉 And as regards offspring knowing too much: I know how that feels! My son created lots of memes taking the piss out of me for my Armitage obsession… That Mrs Richard Armitage mug must have given me away.

        • obscura says:

          LOL! Too funny. Yeah, it rather throws parental authority off kilter doesn’t it? I’d like to preserve the fairytale that I’m still in control as long as possible…

  12. bechep says:

    hello! I’ve ‘met’ you many times over at the Armitage Effect. Congrats on starting up your own blog! I just recently started one too – I’m still getting the hang of things. Look forward to reading more posts (and I must check out your fan fic!)

    • obscura says:

      Hiya Bechep – welcome! I have to get around to all of these great blogs…I may need to cut my sleep time down to fit it in ;). My fic is posted under “Other fics” – you’ll want to watch RA in the first series of Strikeback, or it won’t make much sense :).

  13. MoonRAker says:

    Welcome obscura. I love Greek ceramics and look forward to reading your blog, especially where it concerns Richard.

  14. katie70 says:

    Congrats Obscura on starting your own blog. I really liked and got in Greek Mythology when I was in high school, so much so that I plan to name any girl I would have had Persephone. I guess someone got lucky because I had all boys. I do have a couple Greek Mythology statues in my garden and am always looking for more. That is about all I know about Greek art, so I am looking forward to learning something new.

    • obscura says:

      Thanks katie70…welcome aboard! I always thought I would name my daughter Karis (after the name for the 3 Graces of myth.). I was overruled :). I hope I can bring some interesting things to talk about.

  15. phylly3 says:

    This is fascinating! I love history and of course RA,, so blending the two is quite a treat. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what else you will have for us!

    • obscura says:

      Hi Phylly3…thanks for stopping in. I haven’t looked very hard yet, and I’ve got several cool things on deck, so I’m really glad people are into it 🙂

  16. april73 says:

    Welcome to the blogosphere Obscura. 🙂

  17. […] also previously encountered Hermes in his role as psychopompos, or the leader of souls as they cross between the world of the living and that of the dead.  He […]

  18. […] here I am, 5 years from my original blog post on March 28, 2013.  Five years…there’s a lot of water that goes under the bridge in five years […]

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