Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In the Forest Under Night

In the Forest Under Night
oil on panel, 30"x48"
©Matthew Stewart
 "A wandering Elf, a thrall escaped, whom Beleg met and comforted,' said Gwindor. 'Yet once I was Gwindor son of Guilin, a lord of Nargothrond, until I went to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and was enslaved in Angband.'"
J.R.R. Tolkien
Of Turin Turambar, The Silmarillion

In the Forest Under Night is a scene from the tale by J.R.R. Tolkien that appears in both The Silmarillion and in a longer form in The Children of Hurin. Gwindor is a Noldor Elf lord captured in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, also known as "The Battle of Unnumbered Tears". At this catastrophic defeat, the kingdoms of the Noldor elves were smashed by Morgoth. As one of the Noldor, skilled in mining and smithing, Gwindor was kept alive as a slave. He escaped, however, into the forest Taur-nu-Fuin, which in the elvish language means "great forest under night". He has lost a hand in his escape, and carries with him a Feanorian lamp in the other. It is light of this lamp that Beleg, in pursuit of the captured Turin, sees and finds Gwindor. You can read the story and decide for yourself if Gwindor would have been better off left alone.

I'll have both this painting and the drawing seen below, along with many other pieces on display next week at Illuxcon 7 at the Allentown Art Museum. The show runs from Wednesday, Sept 17 to Sunday, Septemebr 21st.

In the Forest under Night
preliminary drawing for the painting
red pencil on paper,  21" x 33"
©Matthew Stewart