Thursday, August 11, 2011


Trying to channel a bit of Gustave Doré here I suppose...
Just a quickie little rough tonal sketch here, done in Corel Painter.

I've always been fascinated by the marginal corners of history, people and events either shrouded by obscurity or by not having been chronicled. This is a not-at-all-historically-accurate fanciful rendering of Totila, the 6th Century Ostrogothic warlord the day he conquered Naples. It had been a long siege and the locals were terrified that once they had surrendered they'd be massacred by the supposed barbarian. To their surprise, he instead delivered a speech about how Italians should resent being an exploited colony of the Byzantines, and gave a rebuke of colonialism that sounds strikingly modern.

I imagine him here having just entered the city, standing atop their walls to address them — imposing and alien, yet stoic and egalitarian. Part of the pose was inspired by the Soviet war memorial near Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

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