Alexander Runciman

Cormar attacking the spirit of the water

Cormar attacking the spirit of the water by Alexander Runciman

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Cormar was a hero in James Macpherson's epic poem Works of Ossian, the son of Fingal (1796). This episode depicts the moment when Cormar is described as having taken a wave 'by the curling head and searched its dark womb with his steel and forced the spirit to flee'. In many ancient cultures the sea is a feminine element, and the savagery of the language in Ossian's poem suggests a deep fear of its powers. (Monsters and Maidens, 2004)

Title
Cormar attacking the spirit of the water
Artist/creator
Production date
1751-1785
Medium
etching
Dimensions
75 x 128 mm
Inscription
AR unciman inv & fecit Vid Fingal
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
M1885/16/1
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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