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PEQUOD AND THE DEVIL: A MOBY DICK PAINTING



mody dick painting

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This is an original artwork inspired by Herman Melville's seminal work Moby Dick showing Ahab's whaler chasing down his nemesis, the white whale. 'Pequod' is obviously the name of ship but 'The Devil' is more ambiguous. Ahab sees the whale as the personification of evil, of all that is wrong with the world so it could be a metaphor for the whale, however, Ahab himself could be the Devil as in the novel he refers to himself as "proud as Lucifer" and "damned in the midst of Paradise".


The Pequod is at full sail, something that wouldn't happen in such high wind due to stresses on the mast and rigging, however Ahab's fury overrides his concerns for the safety of his vessel or his crew. The whale is breaching primarily for dramatic effect, however, this is behaviour believed to be used as a way to scan for predators or alert other whales to present danger.


I used the Charles W. Morgan, which claims to be the last wooden whaling ship in the world, as the inspiration for the Pequod. It was first launched in July 1841 and Melville's novel is set in the 1840's so it's about as close to accurate as possible. For the white whale I used various reference photos of real sperm whales.


This Moby Dick painting was done on a Cintiq using oil strokes as the brush set. It is ENORMOUS! The full-size drawing is 48000px wide designed for print at 1200dpi - exceptionally fine quality. I intend to have this giclée printed using archival inks on high quality Hehnemühle parchment at 1 meter wide and professionally mounted and framed. It is far too large for me to do justice to the fine detail on a website, so I have included a couple of close ups of the boat and the whale and even though these are large images they are 600% smaller than the full size drawing.



"Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale;

to the last I grapple with thee;

from hell's heart I stab at thee;

for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."​​​​​​​







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