Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jacques Majorelle - Orientalist or Tékumelist?

Looking south across the Ranánga river?

Scenes from the Kráa Hills?

Jacques Majorelle was a French painter who spent a lot of his time in Morocco. I stumbled on one of his paintings on a facebook page and a quick google search later had pulled up the pictures above. It struck me that the flat-topped buildings in the scenes are very like the descriptions given of Tsolyáni clanhouses.

I think he would qualify as an Orientalist painter, though he is - I think - later than those usually put in that category. A google search on Orientalism or Orientalist is worth doing!

The Mssúma river? 

Perhaps there should be more vegetation along the shores, but still the overall character of the river is pretty close: broad and slow flowing. True, the water should be more yellow, laden with silt but by the same token, the blue skies are also wrong, as Tékumel's skies are golden (some of the paintings get that right.)

Did you know "Missúm" means "death" in Tsolyáni, and that the Mssúma river is often also spelled "Missúma"? And that yellow is the colour associated with Lord Belkánu, one of the Tsolyáni "Gods of Stability" and the Lord of the Excellent Dead? Hmm...

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