Artistic Influences

My background is in visual art so it should be obvious that I would draw inspiration for my book from artwork I have studied and admired. Here are two pieces that show up early in my story.

Bull Leaping painting
Wall painting with areas of reconstruction. Knossos, Crete. c.1550-1450 BCE

Bull leaping features prominently in Minoan art, and the palace at Knossos is filled with the remains of bright murals. Most art historians and archeologists suspect this shows a fertility ritual or initiation rite. Based on our understanding of Minoan artistic conventions, the two white figures are female, while the dark one is male. I’ve been enchanted by this mural for over twenty years – the bright color, the graceful curves, the sense of movement frozen in time interweave into a stunning piece of art.

Comb with a Battle Scene
Comb with a Battle Scene, Late 5th – early 4th centuries BCE. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

This solid gold comb was unearthed in 1913 at the Solokha Barrow in modern Ukraine. The barrow was constructed by the Scythians, who were a semi-nomadic people from modern Iran. Most scholars believe the composition and style indicate this comb was made by a Greek artisan for the Scythian client. A very similar golden comb plays an important role in “The Hound of Llaug.”

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