I’m in the process of reading Book One of the Lady Charlotte Guest’s collection and translation of the Mabinogion, the Welsh cultural epic, and I’ve just finished the story of Peredur of the Long Lance. (Quiet, you in the back row…)
In the course of his adventures Peredur meets (and ultimately marries) a beautiful woman known as “the Empress of Cristinobyl the Great”, who lives in “India”. This Empress is fabulously beautiful, fabulously wealthy, a sorceress, and she needs a good fighting man at her beck and call.
I’ve recently undertaken a couple of pieces of artwork that involved human faces. In both cases, the style of the piece was such that I had a lot of leeway — I wasn’t looking for some sort of photorealistic presentation, I just needed a female face. The only requirement was that the face be beautiful, and that the look not obviously belong to a particular time or place.
Here’s a scenario we may all recognize: Little Johnny comes home from school with a black eye and a split lip and his parents discover that he’s been in an altercation with the notoriously arrogant and bullying Jim-Bob from the mobile home park across the tracks. Johnny’s wounds are salved with an outpouring of parental sympathy and dire mutterings that “something really has to be done about those people.”