Temptations of St. Anthony
I was in a bit of artistic limbo, when a guardian voice, funnily, of an american president, asked “What is the strongest artwork You had done in your childhood or teens which had been lost?” I said, “Truly illustrations to Temptations of St.Anthony by Gustave Flaubert”, to which he said “Why dont You redo it then”. Some people talk to guardian voices, You know, like character of Stendahl’s Red and Black talked to Napoleon, which is fine if they come with good ideas and do not get You into trouble like Stendahl’s character.
So i went to the library, ordered Flaubert and got mesmerised by both advanced occult depth of the play and the fact that my edition was illustrated by Rochegrosse, my otherwise recent artistic passion.
Unexpected link lead to this work. While working on biography of Marchesa Casatti i learned about scandalous Paris production of Temptations of St.Anthony to music of Claude Debussy, starring Marchesa as Queen of Sheeba and bisexual malelooking Sarah Bernhard as St.Anthony, taken down by police and even attended by Marcel Proust, otherwise never leaving soundisolated room.
So Queen of Sheeba was decided as central motif. So was Orphic Egg, both having origins in the play plot.
A friend suggested, why not use St.Anthory chapel ruins on Arthurs Seat, Edinburgh, as setting. Too touristy, i thought, too obvious. But that led me to knowledge that hermit St Anthony was one of favourite saints in mediaeval Scotland. I searched and found Chapel og St.Anthony in Murthly, dating to 14 century, ruined and rebuilt in late romantic period, but remaining catholic throughout time. It is situated on the grounds of Murthly Castle, rebuilt in same time, now being venue of weddings of like of Middleton family friends, but going back far enough to be mentioned in Macbeth.
Murthly is spelled in gaelic as Mortlaich. Mortlake, thought i? How accurate is the fact of immortal Mortlake of John Dee being in Richmond, not Scoton river Thames and not Tay, sounding similar to be confused that early in history. I have not checked and promise to do that.
But i came to another interesting train of thought. Same friend mentioned that hurricane, causing scattering of Spanish Armada, was conjured by scottish witches, not by John Dee as common legend says. Scottish witches? I got into studying navigation maps of Armada, and came to conclusion that hurricane’s epicenter could not have been Richmond, London. Fifeshire in Highlands indeed.
The castle belongs to a family called Stewarts of Grandtully, as well as the St.Marys chapel of Grandtully in Pitcairn, Grandtully being placename where clan originates. Grandtully is spelled in gaelic Gar-An-Tulli, yes, the last part possibly rendering Thule of germans. ‘Gar’ dictionaries translate as anything from ‘little’ to ‘sword’, giving root to name Gary, but same friend enlightened: In esoteric gaelic Gar means ‘light’, yes, he said, like in ‘Gar-U-Salem’ (Jerusalem). Salem is known to be the place of Tabernacle of Melchizedek, and later merged with Jerusalem. Merged, but not alltogether, as according to Latter Day Saints, it disappeared, as they call it, ‘translated’, into higher realm. Light of Salem teleported into Light of Thule, the ultimate fronteer, for safekeeping till the latter days?
The motifs of S.Anthony’s hallusination bubbles are frescos from St.Marys of Grandtully in Pitcairn, a secret gathering place of Kinghts Templars built as far back as 12-13, frescos dated as 16th century, humouristically, or esoterically, nicknamed by researchers as “pregnant angels’, ‘Queen of Heaven holding a blond or ginger babygirl instead of a boy’ and Black Madonna (yes, known from France and described in latest Michelle Huillebecque dystopia Submission) with grail and egg, all of which i discovered, unfolded and sketched live after i painted in the models in the triptych, all authentic.
The left part comprises the pictish stonecarving. It was a high climb and it is located some climbing steps towards St.Davids well, featured in central piece. I insist it is a star map of constellations Orion and Taurus, the brightest being Betlegeuse known as the star of Bethlehem as it is brightest in Rome on 25. December, the Anchor known from Fisher King (grailkeeper) symbol, very obvious, The Three Kings, here not so aligned, leading to Aldebaran in Taurus known as Masonic Tau, buildingstone. The location is village of Weem, archaic for Womb. Does the map show towards the birth of Savior?
Interesting fact. Temptations of St.Anthony was painted by many: Bosch, Dali, mostly featuring distorted cosciousness. It was, unnoticed, painted by Tennier, yes, the one mentioned in Abbot Sauniere scrolls together with Poussin, also off public knowledge. Teniers interpretation indeed features a pregnant woman.
I was not planning to paint a pregnant woman. Thus happened that two scheduled models could not participate, and only Tanya Fraser, a former artist and Dundee art college graduate, agreed to pose. She gas a rare condition, unoperateable cysts, that make her look highly pregnant while she is not. Pregnant angels were led upon after.
I am opening all information I encoded in the triptych in writing, because unlike with Poussins paintings, not sure anyone would be able to decipher it precisely.
Another thing. While sketching the Betlegeuse pictish stone, my clock winded backwards. I did not notice it until I came late for a train, after waiting for it with two coffees. It was a Michael Kors mechanic battery driven clock,it was not as suggested by someone winter time automatic adjustment failure as the clock had not only different hour, but minutes, the battety was new and the watch was running smoothly before and after.