This week while looking for tasteful photographs of lovers (to use as models for my erotic illustrations, should I ever make them), I found a head-and-shoulders painting-like photograph of two lovers, a man and a woman. It made me squee with manip-making excitement.
So, in honour of March 25, the day the Ring went into the fire, I present to you my latest Frodo Art Travesty manip....
The face of the woman in the painting is fabulous. As I told Estë, she reminds me of Meryl Streep as painted by a Pre-Raphaelite. The man has a very nice chest and shoulders -- smooth-skinned and not too muscle-bound -- and his head is turned in a lovely manner. His face is not to my tastes, but his face would not be staying.
This manip is made from an image called Huomo Fendi, by Sheila Metzner. It's date was given as 1988. If you would care to see the original photograph (or painting, I'm really not sure which, but Ms. Metzner is a photographer, otherwise), it is HERE.
I have found an online gallery that shows photographs from an exhibition taken from her book, Form and Fashion. It features this "painting". If you look through the images, you will see she uses a very classical, painterly style throughout. Here is a link to the John Stevenson Gallery exhibition, which features prints from Sheila Metzner's Form and Fashion.
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The problem was (as is often the case with paintings I want to use for a Frodo manip), the man's face in the image is in profile. Film-Frodo has a gorgeous profile, to be sure, but very few images of him in internet galleries are in profile. Because of Frodo's wonderful eyes and expressive face, most shots saved of him are 3/4 and full-face views. I had used up all the profiles I liked in previous Art Travesties. What was I to do?
Well, I decided, I would have to search the films for some new screencaps.
It turned out that the filmmakers didn't shoot him in profile much, either. Since last night I have been fast-forwarding through FotR, TTT and RotK. Everytime Frodo turned from one side to another I would pause and pounce, snatching the frame or two that was in focus while he made the transition. Still, these were not caps I would call "gems." There were some longer profile scenes with Sam, especially in The Two Towers, but Frodo's face was usually filthy or contorted in argument. Not good material for popping into paintings of beautiful lovers.
I found that there were excellent extended profile sequences, however, complete with a clean (if wan) face and tender looks in the scene in the cart with Bilbo, and in the farewell to the companions at the Grey Havens. (Yes, I screencapped them both to make into future screencap entries, sobbing the whole time.)
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I am terribly pleased with the new manip.
When I gaze at it, perhaps because Frodo is naked and the woman is dressed, I imagine him as a faun, with his long hair trailing down his neck. I have imagined the woman as a mortal who has seen him in a glade, perhaps, and fallen under his spell as Thingol did under Melian's, or Beren under Luthien's. In this instance, of course, the genders are reversed.
The woman in the painting appears utterly and tenderly besotted, besotted to the depths of her soul. He seems to return her regard.
Call me a sap, but while I find this manip sensual and erotic, primarily I find it deeply romantic. It appeals to my swoony old heart. After all, I am as enamoured of him as is this woman. She is just a lot better-looking.
Frodo and the Enamoured Woman....
Since posting this picture, an e-friend who is a Tolkien fan and fine poet has written a poem based on this image. I like it so well I would like to post it here, but will make a separate entry for it, to better set it off.
To read jan-u-wine's, The Fields of Forever, based on this manip, click HERE.
~ Jan-u-wine's Lord of the Rings-based poetry is featured at LotR Scrapbook.
View Frodo Art Travesties Table of LJ Entries page HERE.
View Frodo Art Travesties AlbumHERE.