A few weeks ago I talked about fan-fiction. The debate continues about whether it’s considered copyright infringement, but one thing is certain – when an author inspires another person simply through the written word, it’s a beautiful thing.

Today is Wednesday, and although this post is much later than usual, I couldn’t let the day slip by without talking about art. Sometimes words inspire others to write. Sometimes those same words inspire others to create something a bit more visual. Here are a few examples.

Gustave Doré – Charon

This image was inspired by Dante’s The Divine Comedy, specifically Inferno. The artist drew this image of the ferryman, which came right from the story: “And lo! towards us coming in a boat / An old man, hoary with the hair of eld, / Crying: ‘Woe unto you, ye souls depraved!'” Charon was charged with taking the souls of the dead into the next life.

Pablo Picasso – Don Quixote

This next one is another drawing, this time by someone that you’ve probably heard of. Picasso depicts both Don Quixote and Sancho Panza here, though maybe not in a style that’s quite as detailed as Cervantes’ words were. You can see our hero on his horse, and his sidekick on his donkey. Those classic windmills are in the background.

Louis Lejuene – Battle of Moscow, 7th September 1812

Lastly, we have this somewhat depressing painting that was inspired by the events recorded in Tolstoy’s War and Peace. This is a much more detailed painting than the last, which is appropriate given the topic. This tells the story of a Russian battle in which many, many lives were lost.

These were just three random examples. There are countless others – especially if you take into consideration all the pieces created to depict stories from Greek mythology. Or Christianity. Or countless other religions and legends. The list is as close to endless as it could possibly be.

Would you like someone to turn a scene from your story into a painting someday? If so, what might you like to see? A battle scene or a portrait? A realistic and detailed portrayal, or maybe something funnier and more stylistic?

  1. Julie Glover says:

    I’ve always loved that Picasso. Don Quixote was a great read, and that work brings back such memories of the tale itself while still giving Picasso’s unique perspective.

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