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Palinurus I
By TiredJadedSoul   |   Watch
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Published: April 10, 2012
© 2012 - 2019 TiredJadedSoul
Palinurus I

My first entry in the local art circles, printed out in poster sized format.

An image of a long dead astronaut.

Whether it's a forgotten and derelict corpse found floating in space by future astronauts or a restless malevolent ghoul trying to get into a spaceship or space station to wreck havoc on the living crew is up to the imagination of the viewer.

Partially inspired by all the dead American and Russian astronauts through history, by that old Scooby Doo episode featuring the blue skeleton astronaut that laughed manically, by the "B-17" segment of the 1980 movie "Heavy Metal" and by the graphic story "Jet Man" by renowned sci-fi artist Angus McKie (p. 30-34 in The Best of Heavy Metal, 1977-1979).

The name is borrowed from Roman mythology:

Palinurus, son of Jasus, was Aeneas' helmsman who was put to sleep while on duty by the god of sleep. He was then tossed overboard eventually arriving and dying unburied on land. Aeneas visited him in the Underworld where he promised to give Palinurus a proper burial.

After touching at the island of Sicily, where Acestes, a prince of Trojan lineage, bore sway, who gave them a hospitable reception, the Trojans re-embarked, and held on their course for Italy. Venus now interceded with Neptune to allow her son at last to attain the wished-for goal, and find an end of his perils on the deep. Neptune consented, stipulating only for one life as a ransom for the rest. The victim was Palinurus, the pilot. As he sat watching the stars, with his hand on the helm, Somnus, sent by Neptune, approached in the guise of Phorbas and said,

"Palinurus, the breeze is fair, the water smooth, and the ship sails steadily on her course. Lie down a while and take needful rest. I will stand at the helm in your place."

Palinurus replied, "Tell me not of smooth seas or favoring winds, me who have seen so much of their treachery. Shall I trust Aeneas to the chances of the weather and winds?"

And he continued to grasp the helm and to keep his eyes fixed on the stars. But Somnus waved over him a branch moistened with Lethaean dew, and his eyes closed in spite of all his efforts. Then Somnus pushed him overboard and he fell; but keeping his hold upon the helm it came away with him. Neptune was mindful of his promise, and kept the ship on her track without helm or pilot, till Aeneas discovered his loss, and, sorrowing deeply for his faithful steersman, took charge of the ship himself.
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SpaceInquiries's avatar
Found this via Archillect on twitter. Great artwork!
TiredJadedSoul's avatar
TiredJadedSoulHobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
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