June 25, 2020

Applied Practice | Dream Theory Project | Research notes 02

Additional research

I just want to collect a few more images here that have aided my research on the imagery of dreams, religion and the supernatural. Hieronymus Bosch, William Blake, Botticelli, Henri Rousseau and Max Ernst.

Hieronymous Bosch

The Late Gothic Flemish panel painting tradition meets the bawdy irreverence of illuminated marginalia (the humorous doodles monks would leave in the margins of books). Bosch offers a fantastical window into the medieval imagination.

The Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1495–1505, attributed to Bosch. The panels depict paradise, earth and hell.
Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights—hell.

William Blake

Blake's images show extreme distortions of scale
Out-of-kilter perspectives and distortions in scale foreshadow the Surrealists' depiction of dreams
The drama unfolding. This image is like a photograph in that the writhing figures are captured off balance, falling.
William Blake's drawings are sometimes strongly abstract. I've shown this one upside down to emphasise the effect.
Lucifer (which means 'bringer of light' (or knowledge)) devouring souls.
When researching composition for tableaux I often turn to this book.
Botticelli, Nastagio meets the woman and the knight in the pine forest of Ravenna (1483)
Botticelli, Killing the woman (1483)
Botticelli, The banquet in the forest (1483)

This four panel series (the first three shown above) depicts a story from The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. The story describes the chance meeting of a young man and an apparition of a knight slaying a young woman. The ghost knight explains that he and the woman are damned to enact this chase every friday for all eternity as a revenge for her cruelty in love toward the knight and the knight's revenge in turn when they were alive. The young man chooses to stage a banquet in the very spot the next Friday, and when the terrible ordeal unfolds once more amid the banquet, he uses the event to show his unrequited love the error of her ways.

This fascinating set of images shows a simple background, midground, foreground arrangement. Like a stage on which the drama is acted out.

Henri Rousseau

Henri Rousseau Carnival Evening, 1886
Henri Rousseau The Walk in the Forest (1886 - 1890

I wanted to include these two additional Rousseau images to show another reference to the sky-through-trees found in my references from Magritte, Botticelli and Max Ernst below.

Max Ernst

Max Ernst (2 April 1891 – 1 April 1976) was a German artist and pioneer of Dada and surrealism. He is also noted for his collages. I've included the following paintings as reference for dreamlike images that distort scale and show the sky through trees motif present in some of the previous examples.

Max Ernst Nature at Dawn (Evensong) (1938)
Extreme scale
Composite figure
Composite figure. Max Ernst. L'Ange du Foyer, (1937)
Download PDF
Download PDF