August 18, 2017

Tintagel - Art and Music

Tintagel Castle, in Cornwall, has sparked the imaginations of people since Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote (c. 1138) that King Arthur was conceived there. Abandoned in the 1600s, visitors began coming in the 19th century to see the ruins of a castle from 1233. The earlier use of the site was rediscovered (so to speak) in later archaeological digs.

Since its rediscovery, Tintagel and the rather stunning landscape of its environs, has proven to be a destination not only for the general public, but for artists of many stripes, including composers, painters, and others.

Artists I have found who painted Tintagel include:

Thomas Moran (1837 - 1926)

Samuel Palmer (1805 - 1881)

William Trost Richards (1833 - 1905)

Image result for tintagel castle trostImage result for tintagel castle trost

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Thomas Rowlandson (1756 - 1827)

JMW Turner (1775 - 1851)

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I am sure there are more paintings out there, and definitely thousands of photographs. 

I'd like to quote, briefly, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, from his poem "Idylls of the King," to wit:

They found a naked child upon the sands
Of dark Tintagil by the Cornish sea;
And that was Arthur; and they fostered him
Till he by miracle was approven King:
And that his grave should be a mystery
From all men, like his birth; and could he find
A woman in her womanhood as great
As he was in his manhood, then, he sang,
The twain together well might change the world.
But even in the middle of his song
He faltered, and his hand fell from the harp,
And pale he turned, and reeled, and would have fallen,
But that they stayed him up; nor would he tell
His vision; but what doubt that he foresaw
This evil work of Lancelot and the Queen?

Finally, I'd like to reference a couple compositions, namely by:

Sir Arnold Bax (1883 - 1953)

His is probably the most famous musical interpretation, but there have been others. Most of the others are more modern, vocal and tonal music. At any rate, this is a small sampling of the effect the site has had on the imaginations of artists of several walks. I hope you enjoyed it!