The quest for the Holy Grail, episode 666

This post is not really going to be about the Holy Grail, more about illustrations. Random inspiring illustrations that have a vague or not so vague connection to Hell and demons.

While cleaning up old children’s books that came from my grandmother I encountered a copy of ‘Parzival de reine dwaas’ (Parsifal the pure fool). The writer of the book is Cor Ria Leeman and it was illustrated by Rik Jansseune (1955). The book starts with a prologue that describes how Lucifer lost his emerald while battling Michael, which is quite interesting as I am not used to reading stories about the lapis exillis in a children’s book. Here is a rather dramatic scene with the Grail:

Another interesting illustrator of Parsifal (1912) is Willy Pogany. I can’t find direct online versions so I have to go via Pinterest. There is plenty to be found  in general searches online though. What I find interesting about the illustrations are not just the drawings themselves but the way he uses blank space:

One of the most famous books about Hell and demons apart from the better parts of the bible is the Divina Commedia. I have a few (modern reprints, obviously) versions of the Divina Commedia, some sort of medieval roadtrip. In the first leg of the tour, Dante and Vergil go visit Hell. I have always been fond of the illustrations of Gustave Doré. They are iconic and can be found everywhere so I’m not including a sample of those, just some more obscure ones. For starters the interesting paintings (not sure what they are,  they look like watercolours) by François-Maurice Roganeau . For example:

I found them online here:  La Divine Comédie, Dante, peinte par François-Maurice Roganeau, Laurens 1912

Doré, whom I mentioned before also illustrated Paradise Lost. Those illustrations are just as famous, so not including a sample of those. (I do like Dorés enourmous painting of Virgil and Dante, btw).

However, by accident I discovered that Milton’s book was also illustrated at the beginning of last century by a certain William Hyde about whom I can barely find information online, just a couple samples of his moody black and white illustrations:

That’s about it. I have to do some real work now.


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