ERLKÖNIG (ERL-KING), 2017
Acrylic on canvas
© D. R. Lendrum
This painting was inspired by the song 'Erlkönig' (Erl-King) by Franz Scubert. The text is the very powerful poem of the same title by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
It tells the dramatic story of a father who rides with his terminally ill son in his arms through a cold and stormy night towards the safety of home. During this dangerous ride, the evil Erl-King tries to persuade the boy to come with him to play and dance with his daughter which in reality means to follow him into death. The frightened boy alerts his father of this danger but the father misunderstands the voice of the Erl-King for whispers in dry leaves and his shape for wisps of fog, and a shadow of an old willow-tree. In the end, the Erl-King takes the life of the boy by force. So, when father and son arrive at their home, the boy turns out to be dead.
Schubert's music expresses the drama of the story perfectly.
David has a close relationship with the song because he used to sing and interpret it in his singing lessons in 2017.
painting expresses the turmoil of the stormy night, the presence of the
Erl-King as well as the high speed with which the father tried to reach home
in order to save his son.