Death, Knight and the Devil

I am back in London after a busy summer and am happily back in my studio. Just this week I finished a new painting which today I am pleased to publish here. It is based on the engraving by Albrecht Dürer shown below. This was first published in 1513.

Death, Knight and the Devil by Albrecht Dürer (1513-1514).
Death, Knight and the Devil by Albrecht Dürer (1513-1514).

The armed and armoured knight canters into battle on his noble steed, driven by thought of glory or plunder, we cannot tell. Beside him, death with his crown and aura of decay, tries to remind him, with little success, of his temporal nature. Behind them trots the devil, primal, beastly, and keen to spur the party on to any evil that could unfold. This is my interpretation of Albrecht Dürer’s well-known engraving. I have recently been to see collections of paintings in Vienna and Berlin and seen many of his works first-hand.

A reproduction of this picture has hung on my studio wall for many years and it has probably been in my subconscious for even longer. Here is a sketch I did long ago which features the three principal actors.

Death, Knight and the Devil by Barry Trower.
Death, Knight and the Devil by Barry Trower.

Five centuries later, I have come up with a modernized, mechanized, colourized and super-sized version of Dürer’s hero to bring him up to speed with today’s warrior. I suppose the reason his image is still relevant can be seen in cultural conflicts around the world today where simplistic, self-righteous beliefs lead to cultural and actual genocides. My knight could be destroying the ancient treasures of Palmyra, as we have witnessed very recently. I have had to move the devil to centre-stage for formal reasons (he would have been hidden by the tank), and I have given him a book with which to justify the mayhem. I think I have captured the spirit of Dürer’s print and given the composition a sense of movement and direction, the figures heading into the sun with the dust of death and destruction behind them.

Death, Knight and the Devil by Barry Trower (2015).
Death, Knight and the Devil by Barry Trower (2015).

Hope you like this new spin on an old theme.

Barry

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