The Green Knight
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
This is a painting recently completed of the allegorical arms of the Green Knight, a character
from the legends of King Arthur. In the story he rides into Camelot and demands to fight one of Arthur's knights informing the assembled guests that if his head is cut off, he will give his adversary one year to return to his own castle and receive a similar fate. Sir Gawain steps forward and lops off the Green Knight's head thinking it would kill him. It doesn't, the knight picks up his head, rides off and a year later Gawain must find him.
The Green Knight is of course symbolic of the Green Man, a pagan deity whose realm is that of nature and who every year returns anew after the death of a cold winter. He is a representation of new life, growth, energy and fecundity.
This painting expresses this, in a way it is a reflection of personal circumstance. New beginnings after a time in the wilderness. The painting is an explosion of new life as the Green Man on the shield bursts forth new growth. The mantling is composed of ivy, wild flowers, Ash, Yew, Holly, Oak and Mistletoe with Hawthorne blossoms scattered about the piece. Birds, butterflies and bees busy themselves around the Stag, an ancient symbol of new beginnings and power. Hanging from its ear, a pendant with the Ingwaz rune, itself a powerful emblem of new beginnings.
The Green Knight is in watercolour on Fabriano linen paper at size 28 x 43 cms. I will be offering prints of this painting in due course. Allegorical 'coats of arms' based on personal themes can be designed. Please contact ASJ for more details