|Vintage art print of The Duel After the Masquerade by 19th century French painter Jean Leon Gerome|
While going through the 12 volume 1958 Metropolitan Seminars in Art I found this extraordinary print. I had never seen this work of art before and I was immediately dazzled by it. Beyond the obvious technical skill of the painter, I was captivated by the story. The Duel After the Masquerade tells so much. The frivolous costumes of the men tell of the party in the night where the fun apparently took a bad turn and the honor of men was offended. The frosty forest still bleary in the first light of dawn tells of tempers that stayed up all night impatient for satisfaction. The spray of tracks in the snow tell of the quick flurry of steps as the angry men met over swords. The concern of the friends huddled around the dying man, clothed in white to match his pale dying flesh, tell of grief that will linger. Even the victor of the duel has turned away, his sword discarded in the snow. His posture speaks of regret.
The silly costumes of the participates also comment on the stupidity of tempers and the violent tradition of dueling. The reason for the argument was surely trivial and now blood is spilled.
Art such as this inspires me as a writer. It also teaches me about conveying details with one mere snapshot. This is a picture worth a thousand words and many more. I could write a whole story from this scene. Creatives of all disciplines inspire each other. Artists inspire writers. Writers inspire artists. Musicians inspire everybody although they too can take their inspirations from other artists.
I love surrounding myself with inspiring objects. They are food for my fiction writer's brain to feed upon.
I can't bring myself to sell The Duel After the Masquerade, but I do sell many of my vintage findings that you can find at my Perfect Pages Etsy Store.