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Elephant Folio for Paradise Lost


milton@wahcenter.net


The first copy of the hand embellished gold illuminated elephant folio with hand painted illustrated borders as described below is complete. 

We have also gone into production of a high end UNEMBELLISHED  13 x 19 inch folio of highest quality art printing on Museo II paper. We are also producing a quarto high end folio on Museo II paper. All the major prints in theses folios are signed. Email for prices.  











See sample pages here:Unembellished Signed Folios



JOHN MILTON’S PARADISE LOST
Above: mock-up experimental pages  8 1/2 x 11 inches
Collection of Dr. Robert J. Wickenheiser

The Elephant Folio

Synopsized and illustrated by Terrance Lindall

With Commentary by Dr. Robert J. Wickenheiser

Dr. Robert J. Wickenheiser's Commentary for the Elephant Folio

 Offering POR


HOW TO HELP: 

HOW TO SUPPORT PRODUCTION OF THE ELEPHANT FOLIO

CONTRIBUTORS TO THE ELEPHANT FOLIO PROJECT

The Elephant Folio will use HAND EMBELLISHED GICLEE PRINTING AND 23.75 CARAT GOLD LEAF

the most superlative techniques and materials available to our age! 

                  
Above: Sample Historiated Initial
  
THE FINAL PAINTING FOR THE ELEPHANT FOLIO

TO J.M.
To All! A gloried story take,
And with a gentle hand
Take up the book where 
Dreams are twined
In Eden's ancient land.

Beneath the turmoiled universe 
Full leisurely we glide;
For all our thoughts, with English skill,
By Milton’s words are plied,
 Thus his great thoughts with no small force
Our wanderings do guide.
Thus grew the tale of Eden lost:
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were meted out
Until the tale was done,
And home we fly, a happy we,
Astride this tale well spun.

TERRANCE LINDALL

THE CELESTIAL ORBIT

For the Elephant Folio, Terrance Lindall is working on a final painting as a frontispiece. It is Terrance's "ultimate statement" as an artist's interpretation of Milton's great epic. This painting will only be produced as a print for the Elephant Folio and will not be reproduced for collectors as a signed print in any other format. Only those who acquire the Elephant Folio will have it.

The Celestial Orbit of Paradise Lost on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/wahcenter#p/u/1/26JN5AUjHXI

This Frontispiece for the Elephant is a 13 x 13 inch highly concentrated conceptual piece. Thirteen is a prime number and has many associations in religion, witchcraft and more. According to the Torah, God has 13 Attributes of Mercy. 

The shape of the new painting is a true mathematical square, within which is a Celestial Orbit, as is Leonardo’s “Man."

The circularity of the orbit represents the perfect harmony of God's created universe. The compass that inscribes the circle in the 13th century manuscript is a symbol of God's act of Creation. One sees this also in Blake's illustration of  Newton (1795) that demonstrates his opposition to the "single-vision" of scientific materialism: Newton fixes his eye on a compass (recalling Proverbs 8:27, an important passage for Milton) to write upon a scroll that seems to project from his own head, and also in Blake's  Ancient of Days showing God with a compass, referred to in Chapter 7 of the Book of Daniel. Notice also below the circular shape of the halo in the 13th c. illumination.

              




Allusions are also made to squaring the circle, a problem proposed by ancient geometers. In 1882, the task was proven to be impossible, as a consequence of the Lindemann–Weierstrass theorem which proves that pi (π) is a transcendental, rather than an algebraic irrational number. This alludes to the limits of Man's attempts to understand the Mystery of God. 

There are also dualities, opposites (a visual dialectic), angular references, and more. The languages of mathematics, philosophy, story telling and visual art are all there.


Within the celestial orbit are the main characters of Paradise Lost: God, Satan Adam & Eve, Death and Sin, the Tree of Knowledge and the Son of God riding forth as a beam of light from the forehead of God on the Steed of Virtue, Sword of Truth in hand… and The Great Author himself becomes one of the main characters of this painting. Milton is receiving “THE WORD” directly from the mouth of God who fundamentally gifts Milton with The Tongue such that he becomes “THE UNIVERSAL POET of the AGE of MAN.” John Milton receives the Word of God* into his mouth like John the Baptist who ate the “little book.” And there is a surprise too, for the Serpent is in front of that Divine Imparting of the Holy Spirit...and Infernal Serpent is...well, you will see!

Remarkably, in The Reason of Church Government  Milton quotes Rev 10.9 in the middle of a remarkable autobiographical digression:

"And although divine inspiration must certainly have been sweet to those ancient prophets, yet the irksomeness of that truth which they brought was so unpleasant to them, that everywhere they call it a burden. Yea that mysterious book of Revelation which the great evangelist was bid to eat, as it had been some eye-brightening electuary of knowledge and foresight, though it were sweet in his mouth and in the learning, it was bitter in his belly, bitter in the denouncing." 

Terrance said, "I did not remember this until Professor Steve Fallon pointed it out after I had begun the painting. I had actually painted a triptych of The Revelation of St. John a while back: Apocalyptic Visions of St. John the Divine." All concepts were drawing themselves into place for this Ultimate Expression of Lindall's interpretation of Paradise Lost in this one final work, the frontispiece for the Elephant Folio. Lindall's final painting addresses the tragic position of Satan and how he has ruined himself, bent toward evil but lamenting his own sad choice, determined nonetheless to move forward on the wrong path. Lindall also addresses the issue of "The Fortunate Fall (of Satan)" that led to great art, poetry and philosophy. As one of Terrance's great artist followers Bien Banez says "Satan gave color to the world!" [38]

Once more we see in this painting the Visionary Foal representing God's omniscience. Another character that appears in prior paintings of Lindall's Paradise Lost is the Universal Librarian, none other than the Benedictine monk Dr. Robert J. Wickenheiser.  He is riding astride the Visionary Foal and, gesticulating wildly, reciting passages from Paradise Lost open in his hand, his hair flying in the wind.


R.J.W.'s PRAYER to J.M.

Neath that storm O' Good and Ill, 

That goodly Book Man glides.

 Of starry wonders now he tells, 

And ne'er a thing he hides,

And offers up this gentle prayer 

Wherein his heart abides:

"We, your followers, give thanks!”


Terrance Lindall

 

The frontispiece herewith described was conceived several months ago in sketch form. Terrance stopped at a point in preliminary execution to let the work rest until it called him back. The ideas had incubated in his subconscious such that when he started undertaking it again recently all issues resolved immediately into their rightful place. 

Terrance also said in what is sure to be a controversial statement, “Only a visionary visual artist and a philosopher can really completely understand Milton’s Paradise Lost. There are not too many who combine both realms in any depth. Yes, the scholars of English literature and poetry do indeed delve much further into the reaches of the Greco-Roman mythological sources and biblical sources and have analyzed the use of meter in depth revealing the essential structure of Paradise Lost. It is something I never had time to pursue in my many different careers. But all the Greco-Roman sources and brilliant meter alone cannot produce a great poem like Paradise Lost unless there is a Great Idea or an astounding philosophy interpreted through the BRILLIANT visual conjuring of Milton’s words.  Many scholars of English literature do indeed reason soundly and come up with insights on the philosophy of Paradise Lost. They ALL realize that it is not just a fantastic and colorful story. For example, one scholar correctly points out that Paradise Lost is not a religious poem. That is true. But it is a philosophical poem. Milton, though blind, had an "eye" for the visual and a mind for the philosophical and the God given  "UNIVERSAL TONGUE!" That is why Milton can boast that he is REVEALING THE WAYS OF GOD TO MEN through the glory of mind, art and the axiological issue of Ordo Amoris, the Order of Love.

“An example of a 'simply visual' or literal storyline that is actually more is when Satan falls headlong flaming from the ethereal skies…nine times the space that measures night & day to mortal men… “ A lot of readers, even scholars, take that to be a literal storyline event. But actually it is a metaphor for the degree to which Satan had turned from God. Perhaps scholars have pointed that out before me, I do not know not having read the research of 300 some years of scholars in depth. What precisely are the significances of "nine"? Perhaps Milton had an idea. Here are some significances: Nine is a composite number, its proper divisors being 1 (God?) and 3(The Trinity?)."

There is much still to uncover …in the way “Milton thinks” rather than merely in the way “Milton works.” What is certain is that Satan is NOT completely fallen. That is his ultimate tragedy! The pain and anguish of desiring the love of God and having Another put in his place caused his fury and rebellion. Herein is the greatest pain and suffering: loving Good, desiring the love of God and perversely pursuing Evil to do injury to Good and God… fractionated. Herein is the greatest illustration of that ultimate pain and anguish suffered by Satan:

Below" Lindall's Satan Ruined


Jesus too not only suffered in his physical form, but mentally like Satan as demonstrated by his words on the cross: "Oh Lord, why hast Thou forsaken me?" The ultimate Pain and Anguish, loving Good and God and being forsaken, abandoned.** 


Below: Rembrandt's Three Crosses



Matthias Grünewald's Isenheim Altarpiece

* The Word of God

In the beginning was The Word. God said LET THERE BE LIGHT! And He divided the light from the dark. Opposites were actualized and the possibility of infinite divisions made manifest. This is the Beginning, the "big bang" of the great dialectic of creation and destruction through The Word. Just as the binary language of a computer can create worlds within the universe of the hard drive, so God through the binary, the duality, the Dialectic of Light and Dark (Being & Nothingness), made possible all things, and through the fulminations of possibility and actuality actualized (created) all things…as ideas or aspects of the MIND of God. 

**Abandonment

Abandonment and rejection and the extreme mental pain caused by such are themes rife throughout the Bible. Adam and Eve experience rejection and banishment. Cain experiences rejection and banishment.  Christ experiences rejection and subsequent crucifixion and even feels abandoned on the cross, saying “Oh Lord, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

Perhaps the greatest pain for anyone is that generated by abandonment or rejection. What about Satan? What were the characteristics of his personage that caused rebellion?

Despair

Salwa Khoddam on the Milton Lists says the following:

“...in my opinion, Milton brings up a Christian belief in explaining Satan's sin, that what drives sinners to continue in the wrong path is "despair," the antithesis of Christian hope.  See his speech on Mount Niphates in Book 4.  "Me miserable! which way shall I fly / Infinite wrath, and infinite despair" (4.73-74).  Faustus goes through the same process of rationalizing his sin which leads him to despair, and therefore more sin.”


Who would not dispair in light of absolute Law of God as follows:

“Him who disobeys
Me disobeys, 6 breaks union, and, that day,
 Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls
 Into utter darkness, deep engulfed, his place
 Ordained without redemption, without end."

God’s law is unbreakable, unless there is Mercy. See my argument on Satan & mercy in the gold scroll. 

The Gold Illuminated Scroll


Is Satan a Hypomaniac?

Hypomania is a mood state characterized by persistent and pervasive elevated (euphoric) or irritable mood. Individuals in a hypomanic state have a decreased need for sleep, are extremely outgoing and competitive, and have a great deal of energy. Those with hypomanic systems are fully functioning, and are often actually more productive than ordinary individuals. Hypomania is sometimes credited with increasing creativity and productive energy. A significant number of people with creative talents have reportedly experienced hypomania and hypomania may account for Satan’s ability to create concepts of Sin and Rebellion, unknown in Heaven.  Classic symptoms of hypomania include euphoria, a flood of ideas, endless energy, and a desire and drive for success. Satan, having oriented his existence and sense of self worth around successes and the unimpeded First Love of God (before the Son was created) as indicated by his position of Foremost Archangel after God, strove tirelessly for independence and self-definition. Satan greatly valued his own achievements, measuring them based on his own internalized goals, not those set by God. His criteria of whether he was successful were often more stringent than those set by others. However, the unreasonably high standards set Satan up for feelings of failure, disappointment, guilt and self-blame.  Satan translated that into rage.

The maintenance of independence and freedom from control by others is also important to hypomaniacs. Thus, the Son having been placed over him in authority, such that he had to receive orders from Him, was anathema to Satan.

Even in Hell Satan’s hypomania persists in a flood of ideas, endless energy, and a desire and drive for success. His nobility persists. Because his followers having suffered, he strives to prove his worth to them.

 Below: The final version of the Celestial Orbit completed February 2011

"I love these! There is a wonderful Bosch-meets-Blake quality combined with something wholly modern..." Professor Michael E. Bryson, Associate Professor of English, California State University, Northridge