Today brings more Howard Pyle prints. I’ve already featured his 2 Knights Fighting at Cameliard. This one is an original art print titled “The Enchanter Merlin”. Over 100 years old, and still in good condition. There’s not as much going on in this illustration. Merlin is a wizard. Wizards do wizardly things, like study, and wear robes. And, I guess, have a ball on the desk next to his book. :^)
Where I’m impressed this time is in the age and demeanor of Merlin. His eyebrows are deeply furrowed in concentration. His hands hold the book open and mark the place. Take a look at his hands and face. A veritable road map of the years and experiences Merlin has lived through.
Or, if you like T H White’s version of a Merlin living his life backward in time, then would it be a road map of the years and experiences Merlin has not yet lived through? Time travel stories tend to open up a real can of worms. Start thinking too much about the sequence of things, and cause & effect, and you can blow your mind up.
Given Merlin’s place in our legends, would you consider him to be “of our world?” I mean, it’s not like reading a fantasy story about some place and time that only exist in an alternate universe. Merlin, Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table… their stories are in our own world, set during a time that actually existed in our history. At least some of the legends are based on actual people and events.
Not like Gandalf, who obviously never lived in any world but Middle-Earth, or possibly the Undying Lands. Wouldn’t it be cool to see the two of them together? It would have to be like a Marvel Team-up, where they fight when they first meet, then realize they have an enemy in common and work together. I could see Saruman and Morgan Le Fay joining forces to take over their respective worlds.
Makes me wish I could draw – that would be an awesome fight scene!