Are you interested in mythology and art? If so, you've come to the right place. My name is Alex Fantalov, and for the last 15 years, I've studied Greek, Scandinavian, Celtic, Russia, Finnish, Zoroastrian, Indian, Chinese and other mythologies and created pictures dedicated to them. There are about 200 such pictures with descriptions (see 'main menu')
Contact e-mail: email@example.com
The mythologies in the pictures:
Scandinavian mythology 1
Scandinavian mythology 2
Scandinavian mythology 3
Celtic mythology 1
Celtic mythology 2
Celtic mythology 3
Slav mythology 1
Slav mythology 2
Slav mythology 3
Slav mythology 4
Slav mythology 5
Slav mythology 6
Slav mythology 7
Slav mythology 8.
Slav mythology 9.
Russian epos 1
Russian epos 2
Russian epos 3
Zoroastrian mythology 1
Zoroastrian mythology 2
Zoroastrian mythology 3
Greek mythology 1
Greek mythology 2
Greek mythology 3
Greek mythology 4
Hittite and Etruskan mythologies.
Indian mythology 1
Indian mythology 2
Indian mythology 3
Indian mythology 4
Chinese mythology 1
Christianity and Mythology.
The original characters of Indo-European gods
Indo-European mythologies: genesis and evolution of characters
Indo-European mythologies structure in social-historical aspect
Summary table of Indo-European gods
The faces of German-Scandinavian gods on fronts of Saint Petersburg and Moscow houses
Fantastical pictures 1
Fantastical pictures 2
Fantastical pictures 3
Fantastical pictures 4.
Still lives 1
Still lives 2
I teach painting, drawing, and composition and such subjects as :
“Principles of Art”, “Principles of aesthetic education”. I have created an unique course “The mythologies of the world” And now I lecture it (course is also awailable in English).
The main field of my interests is art and mythology .In my articles I analyze the heathenish pantheons of the northern and eastern European people .Also I study the problems of mythical heritage reflection in the Middle Ages and Modern Times cultures. Now my book “Mythology of the Northern European people” is at the printer’s .I am also a good artist .I paint in oils and draw in water-colors and in Indian -ink.. I am an author of the landscapes and the still lives .Bat the main theme of my pictures is Mythology.
I took part in the Exhibitions of the St. Petersburg Artist Union .Beside I had got his own personal exhibitions .For example
The State Religion History Museum, 1996. There were 12 pictures (oil on canvas). They showed the plots of the Celtic mythology (including the Grail legends, the King Arthur’s Death, the Irish myths about Cuchulainn and Tuatha De Danann ); and the plots of the Kalevala (as its heroes as Vainamoinen ,Ilmarinen, Lemminkainen ) .
In 1995 my graphic album “Atlas of myths” had been printed in the St. .Petersburg. There on 30 pictures in this album I wanted to show the most interesting characters and plots of the Mesopotamian mythology, Chinese mythology, Indian mythology, Middle American mythology, Celtic mythology, Scandinavian mythology and others.
I have created an interesting cycle of Slav mythology, including 40 pictures (water-colors on paper ) .Especially I elaborated such gods character ,as Svarog (a winged god of the sky with four heads); Perun (a god of thunder); Veles (a god of earth, he had a bull head); Dazhbog (a god of good ,with a light halo) .
In 1998 I had got Bayreuth grant of Richard Wagner’s society for my set of pictures dedicated to “The ring of Nibelung”. This set include two pictures triptychs (oil on canvas).
One triptych (“The Brunhild’s fate”) represents the opera plots .On the first picture we can see the Great good Woden (Odin) is putting to sleep his daughter Brunhild .
On the second picture the hero Siegfried (the winner of dragon) is giving the ring for Brunhild .
On the third picture we can see dead Siegfried in the burial ship, three prophetess and Brunhild flying up in the sky .
Other pictures triptych (“The gods fate”)dedicated to the splendid themes of the Scandinavian mythology which inspired of Richard Wagner .These pictures show such plots as :
“Odin and his brothers are making the world of the dead giant Ymir.”
“Apotheosis of Odin .”.The chief Scandinavian god (with a winged helmet and a wizard spear ) is sitting in front of the Valhalla .The Valhalla roof consists of the bright shields .
“Doomsday of the gods .”.The evil creatures (the World Snake, the World Wolf , the giants ) are fighting against the gods (Thor ,Heimdall ,Odin and others ).
Now I am developing the mythological theme .Fine plots of “Edda” , “Volsungasaga”, “Beowulf”, “Arthurian”, “Tain Bo Cuailnge”, “Kalevala”, Indian and Slav eposes can be used for the animated cartoons and films. I will be glad to collaborate with people interested in the theme: “Art and Mythology” .
The published works (in Russian):
1.Atlas of myths. St. Petersburg: Dean 1995. (An album).
There, on 30 drawings in this album I wanted to show the most interesting characters and plots of the Mesopotamian mythology, Chinese mythology, Indian mythology, Central American mythology, Celtic mythology and some others with commentaries.
2. Folklore-mythological theme and development of children's creative work. // Herzen University conference. St. Petersburg 1997. (An article).
3. Special course "Introduction to the world mythology." As part of the humanitarian education system of teacher training colleges // Herzen University conference. St. Petersburg 1999. (An article).
4. The mythologies of the world. //St. Petersburg 2000.
A concise description of principal mythologies: Ancient Egyptian mythology, Mesopotamian mythology, Chinese mythology, Japanese mythology, Central American mythology, Indian mythology, Ancient Iranian mythology, Greek mythology, Celtic mythology, Scandinavian mythology, Slav mythology, Balt and Finno-Ugrian mythology with the commentaries.
5. Indo-European mythologies: genesis and evolution of characters. // The materials of international symposium in Pyotr Veliky Anthropology and Ethnography Museum. 1999.
The proposed course "Iconography of the Near East and European mythologies", must be a continuation of the my special course "The mythologies of the world", which was dedicated to the description of the basic mythological and epic plots. Now I have got the next task: to find the mythological characters' personifications in the ancient art (on a more limited material). The choice of materials is determined by importance of the European culture sources for the contemporary political and cultural processes. Moreover the arts and ideologies of the ancient Europe are closely connected with the ones of the Near East. It can be seen for Greek, Etruscan, Scythian, Thracian and so on. Therefore I must study numerous archaeological catalogues and gather all of the figurative ancient art representations. I must also know the modern scientific points of view on the problems of Indo-European pantheon reconstruction. On whole the investigations by such world scholars as G. Dumezil, V. Ivanov, V. Toporov and others, who study a wide range of the peoples, are known for me. But my leading idea for analysis of the representations is influenced by A. Golan and J. Hatt' studies. Besides the main approach of my work is the comparative one, that has produced the good results in linguistics. And certainly I must study the investigations by specialists in each specific cultural world: Etruscan, Celt, Scandinavian, Thracian, Illirian, Slav, Balt etc. Also I am going to write the special book and to make the slides in order to deliver my course regularly.
6. Indo-European mythological characters in the artistic culture. // Conference dedicated Punin. by St. Petersburg State University 2000. (An article).
I believe to make new contribution to the investigations of a archaic kernel of the Indo-European mythologies and the tendencies of its development in terms of comparative analysis of the ancient mythological arts and texts.
7. Images of germanic-Scandinavian gods on facades of Saint Petersburg. //Materials of conference: Culture of Saint Petersburg region. Herzen State St. Petersburg University 2000. (An article).
Here I have revealed the characters of Scandinavian gods on front of the St. Petersburg and Moskow houses. Certainly I have analyzed the reasons of them appearance in Russia .
1. Course: images of the gods of Barbarian Europe, Mediterranean and Near East.
COURSE PLAN (27 lectures, 8 seminars, 1 colloquium):
Theme 1. Comparative mythology: the theories by G. Dumesil, V. Ivanov- V. Toporov , A. Golan and the basic mythological kern of the Indo-Europeans and their neighbors. 1 lecture.
Section 1. THE NEAR EAST
Theme 2. The characteristic of the culture-historical and ethnic regional processes .1 lecture.
Theme 3. The meaning of Sumerian and Harappa arts (especially of seals) for statement of the god' basic types and plots (the Great Godess, the Horned God, the bull tormented by lion). 1 lecture
Theme 4. The Akkadian art and the Hurrian art and their influences on the Hittite one. The Hittite "Storm God" and "God on the Stag". 1 lecture.
Theme 5. Luristan art (preserving the traces of Sumerian) one and its influence on Ahaemenid Iran. 1 lecture.
Section 2. THE MEDITERRANEAN
Theme 6. The characteristic of the culture-historical and ethnic regional processes. 1 lecture.
Theme 7. The Minoans as connecting link between Europe and Asia. "The Crete bull". 1 lecture.
Theme 8. Mycenae and some traces of Greek art. 2 lectures.
Theme 9. Etruscan art (the bronze mirrors, tomb painting, the tomb relieves). The indivisible traces of the Mediterranean mythologies. 2 lectures.
Section 3. THE WEST EUROPE
Theme 10. The characteristic of the culture-historical and ethnic regional processes. 1 lectures.
Theme 11. The Bronze Age horned warriors. The Sky God and the Great Goddess. 1 lectures.
Theme 12. Celt art and crafts. The claudron from Gundestrup as the most complete representation of divinity pantheon in the ancient Europe. The hypothesis by J. Hatt. 1 lecture.
Theme 13. The Gallo-Roman art in comparison with the mythological sources of the insular Celts. Cernunnos. 1 lectures.
Theme 14. The Germano-Scandinavians. The Vendel period art ( gold foils and bracteats, helmets). The dancing warriors and the Bronze Age figures. 1 lectures.
Theme 15. The art of Viking Age. (The runic stones, tapestries, cult statuettes, wooden carving). The mythology of "Edda". The comparison between Celtic and Scandinavian mythologies. 2 lectures.
Section 4. THE CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPE.
Theme 16. The haracteristic of the culture-historical and ethnic regional processes. 1 lecture.
Theme 17. The character of Hero as a rider (the Thracian golden plaques, Thracian and Illirian stone relieves). 1 lectures.
Theme 18. The Balt and West Slav art and mythology. The pagan temples and statues. 1 lectures.
Theme 19. The East Slavs (art and crafts, tapestries, wooden and stone carving). The comparison between some subjects of Slav and Ugrian tapestry. 2 lectures.
Theme 20. The Scythians animal art. A stag and the plot of torment. 1 lecture.
Theme 21. The Sarmatian mythological art representations and Caucasian epos. 2 lectures.
The approximate theme for seminars:
The bull, stag, wolf and other beast, horse, ram in Art and Mythology
The basic divinity characters in iconography.
The resemblance and differences of considered regions.
The reason of resemblance of myths: relationship or influence.
4. Mythology of the Northern European peoples. Herzen University .
‘Northern Europe’ is considered here in its widest sense ( ‘from Atlantic to Ural’). Many scholars suggest, that in the early Middle Ages there was a culture-historical unity of the Baltic sea shore peoples. It displayed a great dynamism, spread to the British islands and the East Europe. In its turn this interaction combined with the more early relationship of the Germanic-Scandinavian, Slav, Baltic, Celtic and other peoples. And later a parallel process proceeded in the Northern European countries: a coexistence between a developed heathenish tradition and a victorious Christianity. This took place in Ireland, Britain, Scandinavia, in the Balt, Slav and Finno-Ugrian worlds. We can see the spreading of dualism among the Finno-Ugrians, Balts and Slavs. The Ugrian mythological motives had influenced with the Scandinavian culture (some traces Odin’s cult). In its turn, the Scandinavian myths have influenced the Balt, Slav, and Finnish beliefs (the ideas of giants-jotuns, the elements of a thunder god’s worship).We also can see the resemblance the myth of the Odin’s Hunt with the Irish legends of the elves. Lastly any particularies of the Northern mythology have proved like the Christian ideas (for example: apocalipsism of Scandinavian mythology, Ugrians, Celtics; the belief in the hero-rescuer’s advent of Celtic mythology, Finno-Ugrian and Slav mythology. My interest in the heathenish mythology had determined a chose of this theme.
My book consists of an introduction, the fundamental part, a conclusion and supplements. The fundamental part includes four sections dedicated to the definite cultures: Celtic, Germanic-Scandinavian, Slav, Finno-Ugrian (latter one includes the Balt culture also).
In its turn each section is divided into four chapters. The thirst one describes an early history of that or either people, its customs characteristics, contributions to the world heritage.
In the next free chapters the myths and the eposis are stated. Since I am also an artist, I have devoted especial attention to the vivid mythological plots. In my book the cultures are presented as interpretations of the following mythological texts:
-Celtic mythology: some sagas of the mythical cycle; theHeroic (Ulad) cycle, and the Arthur’s cycle.
-Scandinavian mythology: both Edda and Volsungasaga.
-Slav culture: the descriptions of pagan gods, their worship; the reconstructions of some mythical plots; the descriptions of lower folk mythology. Also the Russian heroic epos has been considered here.
-Balt mythology: the descriptions of the gods ( by Lettish folk songs ) and the mythical plots ( by Lithuanian dualistic myths ).
-Finno-Ugrian mythology: the cycle of the Ugrian myths and the Karelian-Finnish epos - Kalevala.
The description of the myths is accompanied by commentaries in which I have shown its reflections in the early art. There the parallels in the closes tradition (Greek, Indian, Iranian, Caucasian ).
The conclusion have got a theoretic character. I have suggested my view of the identification problems of the Indo-European gods. The mythical plots have been compared with characters of an archaic art. Especially I have spared attention for such objects as the bowl from Gundestrup, the products of Romano-Gaulish art, the gold horns from Gallehus, the helmets and the gold bracteats of the Vendel period; the objects of the early Slav art and the findings from Balkan. My ideas are based first of all on the study by J. Hatt and A. Holan. Also I make use of the work such scientist as E. Oxenstirna, G. Dumezil, V. Ivanov, V. Toporov, I. Marasov, B. Ribacov, N. Velius, and others.
The supplements consist of two particular chapters. The tittle of one is ‘The Christian and heathenish symbols on the Sweden runic stones’. Here I have shown examples of the cultural interaction. It is importance for me as a Northern Europe.
The parallel process was taking place in Russia and others countries of the other chapter tittle is ‘Odin and Hermes’. Here I have revealed the characters of Scandinavian gods on front of the St. Petersburg and Moskow houses. Certainly I have analyzed the reasons of them appearance in Russia .In this chapter there is also the list of Moscow and St .Petersburg houses, in front of ones have got the Slav folklore persons.
I am sure the study and the teaching of the Northern mythology are very importance. Its characters rich and variety are not less than antique ones. The Celtic legends are distinguished their dreamy and poetic mentality; the Scandinavian myths have got an original fantasy and have been penetrated by an idea of fate; the Balt folklore is the most grace; in the Slav one there is a worship to a the nature powers; lastly Finno-Ugrian epos trends of paleo-Siberian cold. The knowledge of own tradition and the neighbors’ tradition allows for man to realize his role in exchanging world. The past must be to address to the future
ATLAS OF MYTHS.
Realism, abstractionism and art deco in the history, the theory and the practice of the fine art.
Slav and Balt mythology.
Thracian, Dacian, Illyrian, Scythian and Alanian mythologies.