|Toroazul Painting and Fine Arts
Black and White Works
M Y T H O L O G Y
Mythological subjects are the poet's
way of explaining the universe by
telling stories whose characters or
situations somehow express the
essence or quintessential truths
about life and death. The world's
great myths are the artist's
counterpoint to the chemist's Table
of Elements. One can find how and
why the universe came to be or
holds together, by looking at
stories the Golden Fleece, the
Judgment of Paris, or the Trojan
Horse, among others. Some of
these images were inspired in the
poems of the Greek poet Homer,
the Roman Ovid, and the Book of
Judith in the Bible.
Maria Magdalena Anointing
the Feet of Jesus
pen and ink 8.5 " x 11"
Some stories from the Bible may be read as powerful
descriptions of human emotions or events whose meanings
and repercussions are so deep that they overstep the bound of
history or fact and resonate with the magic of myth. One of
these Biblical passages is the story of Jesus and the woman
who anoints his feet with her hair, shortly before his Passion
and crucifixion, Mary Magdalene.
I created this mythological depiction
of the Moon watching over her
beloved shepherd ENDYMION
shortly after my first trip to BRAZIL.
For my vision, I was inspired in the
film BLACK ORPHEUS (by French
director Camus) and the natural
setting of UBA-TUBA, a hauntingly
tropical seaside location near Sao
Endymion and the Moon
pen and ink
14" x 18"
The Greek poet Homer often refers
to the rose-colored dawn in his
ILIAD. In his poem, "The
Metamorphoses," Roman poet
Ovid also explains the color of the
first morning light as a "blush" on
the skin of the goddess Aurora, or
Dawn, when she is kissed by her
The story of Judith in the Christian
Bible (the book that tells her story
is considered apocryphal in the
standard Jewish canon) , has been
painted by painters like
Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens,
and Artemisia Gentileschi, among
others. In this illustration, I "saw"
Judith not in the typical scene
where she is decapitating
Holofernes to save the Jews from
his tyrannical oppression.
I chose rather to depict the moment
when she arrives in his palace --
purportedly to let him make love to
To me, Judith is one of the most
beautiful and intriguing women in
the Bible -- humble, yet bold and
passionate like an Amazon queen.
Judith before Holofernes
pen and ink 11" x 8.5 "
|Mars and Venus
pen and ink 7 " x 11.5 "
In the Land of the Lotus
pen and ink 8.5 " x 11 "
The story of the return of the hero
Ulysses to Ithaka from the Trojan
War is full of wonderful episodes
and reflections on the nature of
heroism, the art of storytelling, and
love, The text of Odysseus' journey
home is interwoven with narrative
adventures in the land of the Lotus
Eaters, for example, or of the hero's
wife Penelope who faithfully
awaited his return and put off a
troupe of suitors who insisted that
she marry one of them.
Penelope told the suitors that she
would marry one of them as soon
as she finished knitting a wedding
shroud. At night, in her room, she
would unknit everything she knitted
during the day --- thus averting the
suitors' ill wishes.
In the back of the room where
Penelope works by torchlight, I
drew the nuptial bed that Odysseus
carved out of a rooted, living tree
for them before marching off to
Troy. This is a very significant
"piece of furniture" at the end of the
pen and ink 14 " x 11 "
The Kiss of Dawn (and
March of the Hours)
pen and ink
11" x 14"