Thursday, October 18, 2012

161st Anniversary of "Moby-Dick"


As you can tell from that image above, Google's banner for today, this is the 161st Anniversary of the publication of Moby-Dick. Well, one of the 161st Anniversaries, anyway. Moby-Dick was first published on October 18, 1851 in Great Britain. It was published in the U.S. about a month later, on November 14, 1851. Maybe this blog will celebrate twice!

To celebrate this fine day, I'd like to share a great many pieces of art inspired by the book and by Herman Melville himself. Some of these I was aware of, and inspired by, when I began my own project. Some of these I discovered later. What continues to astonish, fascinate, and delight me is the incredibly wide range of ways in which this great book has been explored, interpreted, visualized, recontextualized, and shared. It remains an honor for my own art to be a part of this great body of work, and I hope that my illustrations have added something small but valuable to Melville's grand tale.

In all cases below, I have attempted to give proper titles and artist attribution to each piece, but if I have made any errors please contact me and I will correct the post immediately. Off to the picture show then...


Signet Classics edition early cover by unknown


manga version by Tatsuya Morino


And I Only Am Escaped Alone To Tell Thee by Tom Neely


Captain Ahab by unknown


Captain Ahab (Face) by Leonard Baskin


Like an Open Doored Marble Tomb by George Klauba


Moby Dick Arises From the Deep by Gilbert Wilson


The Fossil Whale by Frank Stella


Moby Dick Rises by Rockwell Kent


Herman Melville by Farel Dalrymple


Captain Ahab's Worst Nightmare by Nancy Vagedes


Daggoo by Leonard Baskin


Queequeg by Leonard Baskin


Mocha Dick by Tristan Lowe


Moby Dick Transcendant by Rockwell Kent


Queequeg by Charlie Hynes


Moby Dick by Leonard Baskin


Moby Dick by Bill Sienkiewicz


Captain Ahab by RQuack


Head of the Sperm Whale by Barry Moser


I Am Madness Maddened by Gilbert Wilson


Island by Dave Wachter


White Whale by Kathleen Piercefield


Ahab by Raymond Bishop


Queequeg by Holly Doyle McAtee


Homage a Melville by Paul Jenkins


Moby Dick by George Klauba


Ishmael by George Klauba


Moby Dick as Jaws by unknown


Stove Boat by Claus Hoie


Queequeg by Matthew Cruickshank


The Great Shroud by Bill Sienkiewicz


Moby Dick by unknown


Abraxas and the Earth Man by Rick Vietch


Moby Dick by Vali Myers


Moby Dick and Ahab by Claus Hoie


Ahab (Strike the Sun) by Kathleen Piercefield


Inscrutable Tides of God by Robert Del Tredici


Captain Ahab by Den Unge Herr Holm


The Death of Fedallah by Benton Spruance


Moby Dick by Franco Matticchio

6 comments:

  1. So enamored with those Baskin pieces; he's a really huge source of inspiration for my own work, though it's not always clearly obvious.

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  2. What a fantastic post. It's amazing to see how wildly varied all of these interpretations are of the novel. Your work certainly fits in well with these other amazing works. I have to say, though, while I particularly liked seeing how other artists interpreted Queequeg, I honestly like yours the best, especially the shade of blue that you used to signify him over and over again. Truly iconic.

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  3. Andy, that Baskin remark definitely came as a surprise at first but the more I consider his art the more I can see a connection. Always good to know more about what goes on inside your brain, man!

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  4. Rudy, thank you, I had a great time putting it together and I'm glad it turned out well. I had forgotten about this anniversary so I kind of scrambled to get everything assembled and ready to go.

    I also very much appreciate the kind words about my Queequeg. I will be honest, while I am exceptionally fond of the Charlie Hynes version (which kind of reminds me of Mervyn Peake's "Captain Slaughterboard Drops Ancho") my own Queequeg is still my favorite too. I've never seen an image that quite resembles Queequeg as much, to me at least, as my own version.

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  5. Awesome art. My favorite was Moby-Dick as Jaws. :)

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  6. Hankering, that was a good one. It's fascinating to see how some of these ideas and themes resonate down through the years, colliding with and cross-pollinating with newer iterations.

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