Thursday, December 9, 2010

Galahad and the Divine Presence

Abbey's paintings certainly strike one with the impression that Galahad was indeed born ordained to fulfill the quest for the Holy Grail. Even as an infant, an Angel appears over him, bearing the Grail. What stood out as I viewed was the presence of Divinity. So often at least one angel appears where Galahad goes, often with Grail in hand. Even in Arthur's Hall, with the seats of the Round Table all taken (save one), did I not see what appeared to be an entire host of Angels in the air, encircling the court from above, as Galahad was led by the hand to the Seat Perilous?

As Galahad's quest and adventure unfold in each image, it appears he is led forth by an angel who is bearing the Holy Vessel. Is this encouragement, a goad to further efforts, such as Galahad's battle against the Seven Knights of Darkness and the sins they represent, and in the process liberating the Maidens representing Virtue? And then there is Galahad's healing of Amfortas, the ailing Fisher King; again the Grail is seen and then borne away once more. Is it the same Angel who guides Galahad in Solomon's ship to Sarras? Again the Grail is in sight, but out of reach until after Galahad is king, and casts off his Crown and regal adornments, which are no longer of any use or worth to Galahad, now having known the source of life and knowledge and power.

It seems obvious Galahad was meant to serve Righteousness along his path to the Grail, guided along much of the way in his endeavors by Angels. The impression is that God meant Galahad, right from birth, to serve the Lord's Purpose with might and steadfastness and virtue.

And apparently I, Sir Launfal, was not entirely worthy of even long beholding the illustrations of Galahad's glorious conquest, as I was escorted from the room by a keeper of the library after only a quarter of an hour (I was informed that the room was sealed off for a dinner function, and that I was not allowed in there).


Galahad said...

Indeed the very sight of my achievement should inspire awe and wonder in the hearts and minds of those privy to see a representation of it. There is nothing nobler nor greater than my claiming of the Grail. Which is why one would chose to create and artistic representation of my marvelous feat. Time and time again and for all of eternity, those who know of my success will carry it on to other generations.

Bedwyr said...


I had the pleasure of gazing upon the grail, (uninterrupted,) as seen by Galahad, and depicted by Sir Abbey. It was quite nice, and well painted. I was struck by the raised gold filigree as well as the way the Grail itself seemed to lurch forth out of the painting. Though it was a great spectacle, I'm not sure if this new style of painting will catch on. Certainly it is appealing and interesting in this one instance, but I have doubts to whether painting-goers will warm to all future paintings done in this style. Especially should special glasses be needed. It's nice, but seems a bit gratuitous to me.

Beyond that, I note that the grail has, once again, been presented in the form of a chalice, with the standardized "grail" shape. Why has this assumption been made, when it could have just as easily been bowl-shaped, or mug-shaped, or what have you. Perhaps the image of the grail is in the vision of the beholder, and distinct to an individual's perception.


Sir Launfal said...

Galahad, please, Sir, be mindful of boasting. Pride and hubris will not serve well coming from thee, as thou art one of The Round Table's very best, and we cannot have thee lost to the Sin of Pride. Remember thy purity, thy oaths, thy mighty accomplishments!

It is crucial that thou remain sinless. Else all divinely inspired endeavor is wrought fruitless.