Pastel on Ingres Paper
500 mm x 1500 mm
O Lord, I know that every hardship along the way is for me
to grow in your love.
May I find delight in all you give me,
May I comfort all those who turn in my direction,
May my joy be complete
and your Name forever on my lips.
THE BIBLE, Psalms119
THE QUEST by VULPA
The knight is an icon of heroism. This painting illustrates some of the the qualities a medieval knight would have embraced, through pilgrimage and his devotion to God.
The questing knight – I chose a lone knight to represent a knight’s personal commitment to an ideal and his cause. This knight is a Templar, Knights Templar were a militant-monastic order who swore an oath of poverty and chastity and held in great esteem through much of the medieval period.
Red cross on the knight’s cloak – This is the symbol of the Knights Templar, it was also the symbol of St George the saintly knight who famously slew the dragon and symbolises courage and faith in the face of adversity.
The weary horse – The horse mirrors the knights exhausted condition, but endures the hardship and his burden as he continues resolutely onwards.
Empty desert – The vast expanse of the empty desert symbolises the daunting challenge ahead of the knight. The desert can be viewed in three parts: The first third contains the knight in the temporal world on the outset of his journey. The central section is empty and a desolate void, a place of transition where the knight’s faith and resolve will be tested. The final stage holds the symbols of his objective and the desert is slightly darker here as he has yet to see his future destination clearly and has not yet found his way.
Mountains – The sharp craggy mountain range reinforces the hardships the knight will endure on his quest.
The Christion fish symbol – The fish symbol is etched into the left-hand rocks representing the knight’s Christian devotion to God that as initiated his quest.
The Jerusalem Cross – The Jerusalem is etched into the rocks of the right-hand side signifying the knight’s destination.
The Lizard – This represents the knight’s religious zeal. Pope Gregory I noted that the lizards basked in the sun, commenting “the soul that humbly seeks enlightenment”.
Birds in the distant horizon – These birds are an ambiguous reference to the outcome of the quest. The could symbolise soaring life and a successful outcome or they could be carrion birds that represent failure.
The wooden Frame – The frame is a part of the design and is constructed of heavy rough sawn wood timbers crossing at the corners as a reference to Christ’s cross.