Your Lovecraftian dolls’ house has arrived, courtesy of Marc Giai-Miniet…
“Death, the Avenger” (based on a description by the poet Heinrich Heine of the outbreak of cholera at a masked ball in Paris in 1831). 1851 engraving by Alfred Rethel (1816–1859), from A History of Everyday Things in England : 1733-1851.
The pestilence was awaited with comparative indifference, because the news from London was that it carried off comparatively few … [during the day] the Parisians streamed merrily to the boulevards to look at the masks, which held up to ridicule the fear of the cholera and the disease itself, by all sorts of monstrous caricatures. The public balls [that night] were fuller than ever that evening; insane peals of laughter almost drowned the music. People got heated in the Chahut, a dance of no doubtful character, swallowed ices and cold drinks … and then, all of a sudden, the gayest of the harlequins felt a strange chill in his limbs, and took off his mask; when, to the amazement of all, his face was seen to be violet blue. It was soon found that this was not a joke, and the laughter ceased; wagons full of men were taken from the hall to the hospital of the Hotel Dieu, where, all dressed in their masquerading habits, they straightway died. As the theory of infection prevailed in the first excitement, and the other inmates of the Hotel Dieu shrieked in terror, it is said that the earliest victims were so hastily buried that they were not even stripped of their motley dresses, so that they lie in the grave as merrily as they lived. — Heinrich Heine.
Presumably an influence on Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842), and also on Lovecraft’s “The Outsider”…
… the open windows — gorgeously ablaze with light and sending forth sound of the gayest revelry. Advancing to one of these I looked in and saw an oddly dressed company, indeed; making merry, and speaking brightly to one another. I had never, seemingly, heard human speech before; and could guess only vaguely what was said. Some of the faces seemed to hold expressions that brought up incredibly remote recollections; others were utterly alien. I now stepped through the low window into the brilliantly lighted room, stepping as I did so from my single bright moment of hope to my blackest convulsion of despair and realisation. The nightmare was quick to come; for as I entered, there occurred immediately one of the most terrifying demonstrations I had ever conceived. Scarcely had I crossed the sill when there descended upon the whole company a sudden and unheralded fear of hideous intensity, distorting every face and evoking the most horrible screams from nearly every throat. Flight was universal, and in the clamour and panic several fell in a swoon and were dragged away by their madly fleeing companions. Many covered their eyes with their hands, and plunged blindly and awkwardly in their race to escape; overturning furniture and stumbling against the walls before they managed to reach one of the many doors. — from “The Outsider”.
CALL FOR WORK:
For the October/Halloween issue of 3D Art Direct magazine we hope to deliver an H.P. Lovecraft -inspired special issue. We are now looking for 3D digital artists who have pictures to show that directly illustrate Lovecraft’s stories, creatures or places. Or the man himself.
We’re also interested in 3D/CG digital work on the broader Lovecraft themes. Such as:
* subtly creepy supernatural weirdness happening in normal places;
* richly atmospheric gothic landscapes;
* cool monsters, beyond the old clichés of vampires/werewolves/ghosts;
* unspeakable knowledge in ancient books;
* secret conspiracies;
* impossible architecture;
* slimy / tentacular invasions from the sea;
* rational scholars and scientists discovering the utterly unknown;
* sublime visions of cosmic ‘outsideness’.
No occult / blood / nudity please.
We’ll be having a small gallery for Halloween so we’re interested in single renders or sculpts (ZBrush etc), as well as interview-worthy collections of pictures. We’re also interested in people who digitally overpaint or Photoshop their 3D renders, so long as 3D still predominates in the final picture. We’re a DAZ and Poser friendly magazine, so don’t worry if you’re not using the latest pro $3,000 3D software package.
Deadline: 10th September 2014. Interested? Please send just your online gallery Web address to the assistant editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s me, as I’m now the assistant editor and layout person for the magazine :)
Full free audio reading of Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis” (Weird Tales, May 1932), read by Iker Rivercast. Commonly said to be Smith’s most Lovecraftian story. The Double Shadow, the Clark Ashton Smith podcast, also has a discussion and partial audio reading from “The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis” which would be a good follow-up Iker’s reading.
Edithemad’s work-in-progress Cthulhu statuette. Based on the rough sketch that Lovecraft’s limited art skills were capable of, to suggest the basics of the cultists’ alien statuette of Cthulhu…
The statuette, idol, fetish, or whatever it was, had been captured some months before in the wooded swamps south of New Orleans during a raid on a supposed voodoo meeting; and so singular and hideous were the rites connected with it, that the police could not but realise that they had stumbled on a dark cult totally unknown to them, and infinitely more diabolic than even the blackest of the African voodoo circles. Of its origin, apart from the erratic and unbelievable tales extorted from the captured members, absolutely nothing was to be discovered … No recognised school of sculpture had animated this terrible object, yet centuries and even thousands of years seemed recorded in its dim and greenish surface of unplaceable stone. The figure, which was finally passed slowly from man to man for close and careful study, was between seven and eight inches in height, and of exquisitely artistic workmanship. It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters. The tips of the wings touched the back edge of the block, the seat occupied the centre, whilst the long, curved claws of the doubled-up, crouching hind legs gripped the front edge and extended a quarter of the way clown toward the bottom of the pedestal. The cephalopod head was bent forward, so that the ends of the facial feelers brushed the backs of huge fore paws which clasped the croucher’s elevated knees. The aspect of the whole was abnormally life-like, and the more subtly fearful because its source was so totally unknown. Its vast, awesome, and incalculable age was unmistakable; yet not one link did it shew with any known type of art belonging to civilisation’s youth – or indeed to any other time. Totally separate and apart, its very material was a mystery; for the soapy, greenish-black stone with its golden or iridescent flecks and striations resembled nothing familiar to geology or mineralogy. The characters along the base were equally baffling; and no member present, despite a representation of half the world’s expert learning in this field, could form the least notion of even their remotest linguistic kinship. They, like the subject and material, belonged to something horribly remote and distinct from mankind as we know it. Something frightfully suggestive of old and unhallowed cycles of life in which our world and our conceptions have no part.
The sketch was made in 1934 for Barlow. Barlow was at that time a sculptor and painter, in addition to his many other talents. According to someone who visited the untouched Lovecraft bedroom shortly after Lovecraft’s death, many of Barlow’s artworks adorned Lovecraft’s tiny bedroom in the late 1930s, along with ancient sculptures from antiquity that Loveman had given him as presents (possibly originally from the Hart Crane collection of such). One then wonders if Barlow ever tried his hand at a sculpture similar to that seen above, based on the sketch? That seems to be implied, in the text below the sketch. If so, the sculpture doesn’t seem to have survived, or it would have been known to Lovecraft fans. Possibly it’s still sitting in a junk shop or curio collector’s cabinet down Mexico City way, unregarded.
Where did Barlow’s other sculpture end up? It seems that not a whit of what he made has survived. He wrote to Clark Ashton Smith (16th May 1937) of his…
disgust at the ineffable stupidity of editors and readers [word or line skipped by Barlow or transcriber] think that some of my best recent work is in sculpture: and there I find myself confronted with another blank wall of stupidity. Oh well and oh hell: some one will make a “discovery” [of the sculpture] when I am safely dead or incarcerated…
“Surrealism and Magic” is a new exhibition at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University (100 miles NW of New York City, ‘as the crow flies’). The show opens August 30th, and runs until 21st December 2014.
explores the surrealists’ interest in magic, the occult, and indigenous spirituality … Inspired by the magic-themed library of Kurt Seligmann (1900–1962), acquired by Cornell upon his death … A range of paintings and works on paper by Seligmann and his fellow surrealists will be presented, along with rare books from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, correspondence, ephemera, music, and film.
Ancient mushrooms meet high technology such as 3d printing.
One wonders what might happen when future bio-engineering is added to the mix. Take a giant puffball (up to five feet wide) and bio-engineer it to form a dome rather than a solid ball, and make it grow four times as big. Spray the resultant 20ft high dome with a further bio-engineered organism that turns the flesh into a durable weather-proof form. Pop-up houses, literally — just take a good saw and cut out your doors and windows. When you’re finished with it for the summer, spray it with simple salt or suchlike, so the autumn rain gets through the membrane and the dome just rots down to the ground within days, leaving no trace.
“Mycotecture: architecture grown out of mushrooms” (90 minute video lecture) by Phil Ross…
Possibly useful for historians of Lovecraftian pop culture, a timeline of The Cthulhu Mythos in D&D in the 1970s. Meaning before the Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG game appeared in 1981.