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Exploring ‘Elysium’

Updated: Apr 13

A Journey through Rebirth and Divine Bliss

Painting of an angel sitting on a bench and looking at a butterfly.
Elysium | Oil painting | 100 x 70 cm

As I sit down to share my reflections on my latest creation, I can’t help noticing that this is my third painting with an angel in a short period of time. Either it’s a coincidence or my subconscious is trying to tell me something (unless an angel whispers in my ears).

I have a preference for short titles that leave room to imagination or interpretation. Titles are important to me and I could never understand fellow artists who opt for “untitled”. To me a title tells a story behind the art. Something “untitled” seems naked and “orphan” in a way. As if you didn’t figure out what you were doing or were just too lazy to think about it. But that’s just my opinion...

Anyway, I was hesitating between two titles: “Reicarnation” and “Elysium”. Although “reincarnation” was the starting point of my concept, “Elysium” made the finish line as it gave me that extra sense of positivity and spiritual enlightenment.

At the center of the painting stands an angel, a symbol of purity and transcendence. With legs crossed and bare feet planted firmly on an orange bench, she exudes a quiet strength as she gazes at a butterfly perched beside her—a creature of transformation and renewal. Bathed in the warm embrace of midday light, the scene radiates a sense of serenity and peace, inviting us to pause and reflect on the mysteries of existence.

The concept of reincarnation, the belief in the cycle of death and rebirth, has fascinated artists throughout history, inspiring countless works of art that explore themes of renewal and transformation. From the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead to the Buddhist wheel of samsara, the idea of the soul’s journey through multiple lifetimes has been depicted in a myriad of forms, each offering its own interpretation of this timeless concept.

In “Elysium,” I sought to capture the essence of reincarnation through the imagery of the butterfly—a universal symbol of metamorphosis and renewal. As the angel observes this graceful creature, she contemplates the cyclical nature of existence and the eternal quest for spiritual growth. The warm colors of red and orange that suffuse the painting evoke the vitality and energy of life, while the strong contrasts of light and shadow symbolize the dualities of existence—the interplay between darkness and light, death and rebirth.

But “Elysium” also draws inspiration from the concept of Elysium or the Elysian Fields—a paradise reserved for the virtuous and heroic souls in Greek mythology. In this interpretation, the painting becomes a meditation on the pursuit of divine bliss and transcendence, inviting viewers to contemplate the possibility of a higher realm where the soul finds eternal rest and fulfillment.

Throughout art history, artists have grappled with the complexities of the human experience, seeking to capture the essence of life, death, and everything in between. From Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” to William Blake’s “The Ancient of Days,” the themes of reincarnation and divine transcendence have been explored in myriad ways, each offering a unique perspective on the mysteries of existence.

The ethereal world of “Elysium” is inviting you to contemplate the promise of renewal and the endless possibilities that lie ahead on our common journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth.

This Painting is an oil on canvas. Size: 100 x 70 cm (39 x 27,5 inches). The original is available for sale. Giclée prints also available in the "Shop" section of this site.

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