Sunday, December 12, 2010

Abbey's Round Table

Aye, the old worn legs surely felt the sting as I trekked through the heart of the city which they call Boston and up the stairs to the second floor within the walls of this land’s majestic library, I encountered a room that was both void of furnishings, yet full of adornment in the form of a great knight of whom I’ve had the pleasure of having within my own court. I speak of the lair in which the great Edwin Austin Abbey has his wondrous murals of Sir Galahad’s “The Quest for the Holy Grail” displayed for the public to enjoy.

First and foremost, I was first taken aback by the sheer size of these pieces, which must have been close to ten feet in height and with endless length! The fifteen total images, telling us a tale in succession, surrounded the whole of the room with these colorful and awe-inspiring works. The deep, rich wood of the walls below the paintings and the dynamic lighting made the empty room seemingly fill up with the richness of the pictures above. One of the other things that stood out to me immediately was the way in which the Fisher King’s bed is prominently resting on top of a red and black marble doorway. Certainly a fitting spot of beauty unto which a King should perish should the Grail not be found!

My favorite panel of the collection was the third, in which my most noble Round Table is gathered and we sit and watch as Joseph of Arimathea escorts the pure Galahad to the Seat Perilous. There seems to be great concern written on the faces of those who fill the room. Many of my guests seem scared and apprehensive of someone attempting to sit in the Seat Perilous, but Galahad is up to the task and my standing to welcome him recognizes my confidence within this great knight.

Although Abbey does not depict the Round Table as may normally envision it, I can assure you that he goes to great lengths to bring about an air of truth in the passion of the room and the way unto which we would gather for monumental occasions. As the panels progress, we see just how truly worthy Sir Galahad is and to this effort we must praise the worthy painter of these scenes, as he has told us a dynamic story, in great detail, on canvas.

No comments: