Saturday, August 25, 2007

Little Owl and Young Hare


Two of my favorite drawings are by Albrecht Durer: the Little Owl and the Young Hare. Many of Durer's etchings are Biblical illustrations and some drawings present dark apocalyptic themes but these two drawings - besides being beautifully rendered - are so peaceful and pleasant to look at: they are a vacation for my eyes. These are also two of my favorite animals. I think I could find in each of them an alter ego, two sides of the same person: one assertive, watchful and thoughtful and the other quiet, peaceful and lost in solitude . . . outside in the garden.


2 comments:

Alexandra the Great said...

O conflicted Scotsman, I can only wonder if you more strongly identify with the subjects of these drawings in their peaceful state or with their alter egos. And what is the alter ego of a bird of prey? Gentleness perhaps? It makes one wonder what lies beneath the surface of a gentle appearance. Hopefully a deeper gentleness, but that is determined by the true nature of the creature. An owl can't help but be a bird of prey, and a rabbit can't help but be, well, prey.

Vanrensalier said...

Hmm, when I posted these as alter egos, it never occurred to me that one was a predator and the other a prey. That brings to mind Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; human nature versus nature of the Spirit. And I do think men struggle with the tension between being predators and prey - strong versus weak. The last shall be first and the first shall be last - when you are weak; then you are strong. But men don't easily adopt that attitude. We are at war within ourselves. Will we have our own way or submit to God? Now, how do I personally relate to the alter egos that I chose? Hmmm . . .