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A Grotesque Mismatch by fresco-child A Grotesque Mismatch by fresco-child
A Grotesque Mismatch by fresco-child (print image)

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The musical duel between Marsyas and Apollo is recounted by Herodotus and Ovid, among others, and has been a famously rendered subject by Raphael (1483-1520), Titian (c. 1487/90-1576) and Guercino (1591-1666). It is the vengeful tale of a vainglorious underdog, Marsyas, a silenus from an unattractive satyr-like race, challenging an opponent with vastly superior powers or Apollo, the god of music, archery, prophecy and medicine. With the Muses serving as judges, the outcome was all too predictable. The victorious Apollo had Marsyas strung to a pine tree and viciously flayed alive. As the woodland creatures lamented his callous death, their tears formed the River Marsyas, a tributary of the Meander. Marsyas skin, meanwhile, became a museum spectacle and was purportedly exhibited in ancient times at Celaenae, in modern Turkey.
The myth was given various interpretations over the centuries, particularly by Plato in his "Republic" and by Christian moralists in the medieval ages. My compulsion to illustrate the subject, however, was purely a vehicle for self-expression. On an emotional level, it allowed me to grasp the fury of Apollo and the wretchedness of Marsyas. A prospect that tapped into both fear and wonderment. The execution, conversely, resembled more a children's book.

Note: Above research and aforementioned title "Grotesque Mismatch" referenced from Ross King's "Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling", Pimlico (2006)
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:iconphilhellenike:
Philhellenike Featured By Owner May 3, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Very good depiction of Apollo's darker side. Mainly, you resisted the temptation to go for sadistic glee. This is the god of medecine as well as music, he's going to do this vivisection with scientific precision and coldness.  Poor Marsyas looks so pitiful and frightened :cry: you can almost hear him begging and screaming for help. 
It looks a lot like one of those old British children's books which included stories like this.  Very well executed. I like how the pleasantness of the surroundings contrasts with the horrific nature of the scene.  
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:iconmitchmoon:
mitchmoon Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015
That is classic, one of my favorite works of art of all time.  A Grotesque Match ranks with the greats, a brilliant idea (the two lust gods) meeting up and things not going well. Beautiful.
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:icont-harris:
t-harris Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Very wonderful piece. It is masterfully executed.
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:icongloria-t-dauden:
Gloria-T-Dauden Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011
A terrible myth. I love your depiction of them :)
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:iconhera-of-stockholm:
Hera-of-Stockholm Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2010
It's a great work! I like the light and the shadows. Apollo comes off like such a street hug here, it looks almost like he's mugging the other guy.
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:iconsilverexpress:
silverexpress Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2010
I've never really liked Apollo and this is one of the reasons. The way he rigged this music contest!Couldn't stand the thought of a defeat, so he shunned fair play. And then a bad looser is one thing, a bad winner is even worse! To me he comes off as an arrogant bastart. Self-righteous, injust and knows it all. No wonder Daphne, Cassandra and all the other girls turned him down. Someone ought to have given him a serious bitch-slap in good time.

Great work by the way :D!
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:iconmiko-m:
Miko-M Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
great use of toned down complimentary colours (im actually using a similar palette for my next piece). The facial expressions balance perfectly. and i am a huge fan of the the background.
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:iconfresco-child:
fresco-child Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you :). The complimentary colours were intended to flirt with fantasy and awaken a dreamscape of light and shadow. The canopy of leaves from "Knowledge" certainly interplayed in the composition as well.
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:iconatothex:
AtotheX Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
A masterful work nonetheless, Danielle. I remember you telling me about this, and I expected no less.

Good work.
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:iconfresco-child:
fresco-child Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I replaced the scan with a photo of the artwork. The details are now discernible and consistent, but the colour now suffers. Alas.
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:iconatothex:
AtotheX Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
I think it looks amazing regardless. Marsyas' expression of anguish and terror is particularly well-captured.
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:iconfresco-child:
fresco-child Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
My poor scanner did not do this image justice. At last a quarter inch was excluded from each side and segregated areas are not entirely clear.
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June 6, 2009
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