Saturday, November 13, 2010

Inspirational Art: Arnold Friberg

My earliest Dungeons and Dragons experiences were heavily informed by Mormon mythology. My brother had several friends who ran a D&D campaign, set in a Book of Mormon milieu. All of the characters had names like Archaeantus, Coriantumr, Irreantum, Lachoneus, Paanchi, and Rameumptom. We found an underground passage beneath one of the city's temples, and hunted down the Gadianton Robbers.

I am familiar with, and fond of the art in the Book of Mormon. The illustrated panels meant little to me, at such a tender age, so I was free to give them meaning independent of the actual scene being portrayed. This particular plate was imagined to be some youthful sorcerer, testing his mettle against an enemy city.

On July 2, 2010, David J. West, the author of the blog Nephite Blood, Spartan Heart, posted a memorial to commemorate the passing of Arnold Friberg, the illustrator responsible for most of that Book of Mormon art. The endless dragon and pumped-up warrior and sorceress art that is splashed across countless Dragon Magazine covers hold less appeal to me that these mysterious illustrations by Arnold Friberg.

5 comments:

David J. West said...

Thanks for the mention and link Paladin.

Bigby's Left Hand said...

Ah, Friberg. Even Abinadi could be ripped in a Friberg painting.

Scallop Skulled Skald said...

The LDS was responsible for a lot of the mid-twentieth century archaeological work in Mesoamerica- how about a Friberg/polychrome mash-up as inspirational art?

LoneIslander said...

Looks pretty cool

Shane Mangus said...

Having never read the Book of Mormon I wasn't even aware of this artist or his body of work. This is great stuff. Most of these pieces could easily be on the pages of a sword & sorcery anthology. Thanks for sharing!