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Noita

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The Holy Country has two Silver Age heroes - Sestarto the Artist and Panaxles the Architect - who cover the crown of human endeavor in arts in that region.

Thunder Rebels has a few artisan occupations - woodcarving, pottery (e.g. glassing, sculpting) and weaving are covered by native crafts. Frescoes and relief appear to be part of Pelorian building tradition, pointing to the Ten Workers.

I think it is quite in keeping with the rather primeval nature of Glorantha that many of the arts are rather earthy and serving the religions from below. The High Arts of the ruling gods are poetry, music, dance, and philosophy.

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Is there such a thing as a secular art form in Glorantha?

Religion is, if anything, the central feature of Gloranthan culture, It's been that way from the very beginning, so it is natural that most arts would serve the needs of the cults. And almost nobody doubts that the Gods exist, not just as a way to explain the inexplicable but as objectively verifiable forces of nature that have a direct impact on human life. So naturally if you are a sculptor or architect you want to create work that pleases them (or at the very least won't get you cast out or smitten). But are there also works of art celebrating more mundane pursuits? Is there comedy in a world where risking blasphemy is a physically dangerous thing to do?

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There certainly is art that serves mainly for hedonistic purposes, or for propaganda purposes. Both of these may of course overlap with religious ones, but needn't. In a port town, many prostitutes may claim to follow Uleria, but few of them will be true initiates or even priestesses. Still, their establishments will be adequately ornated.

Likewise noble houses like e.g. the Enfranchised Houses of Esrolia will live or at least officiate in lavishly decorated housing. It is for political (propaganda) and business purposes.

I am not aware that there are any prohibitions against private ownership of art that might also be used for ceremonial purposes - other than caste restrictions.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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6 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

Is there comedy in a world where risking blasphemy is a physically dangerous thing to do?

I think that there is comedy and even frequent mockery of worshippers and their gods. In my opinion, Gloranthans are not po-faced about religion (unless they are noble Dara Happans!).

The gods do not have agency in the mundane world to avenge every or even any insult. Most of the defense of a god's honor is executed by their initiates, devotees and priests. And even spirits of reprisal are quite limited; I'd expect that they only attack initiates for extreme infractions and really focus their attacks on devotees gone astray.

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12 hours ago, Iskallor said:

Murals abound in Glorantha, are their gods of art?

Yes. But specialist artists that can afford to initiate or dedicate to an artist god are extremely rare (at least, they are rare outside of the greatest of cities). So more generalist artisan gods seem more likely.

There are artifacts of extreme magic that are paintings in both Boldhome and Pavis. So I'd suggest that many gods, spirits etc. are interested in art, not just artisanal gods.

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Hwarin Dalthippa the Conquering Daughter in the Lunar Empire is certainly a patron and inspiration for artists as with the many statues, etc. that decorate and adorn Jillaro.

The Esrolian heroes of the Silver Age were already noted, but certainly were inspired by the goddesses or gods there.

While religious art is certainly important, there's clearly statues of important heroes, leaders, and military figures around. 

And decorative arts whether of Esrolian houses, Lunar pottery, carved chairs, jewelry, etc. could have any number of forms.  Religious forms may be required by the temples, but I'm sure non-religious forms will be popular in daily life and trade.

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Don't forget Gargoyle-carving!

Actually I can see that art would be a very popular form of status and prestige marking - as well as simply making life more pleasant. It certainly was in the Ancient real world where large sums were spent on statues of the famous (usually sportsmen), politicians, and of the rich generally.

Painting was equally popular (if not even more so), although a lot less has survived and come down to us; static frescos are the most robust of paintings and endure the most.

Many buildings were painted with landscapes, still lives, historical scenes, figures, and even portraits. Additionally, there are literally thousands of portraits that have survived from Fayum in Egypt of deceased individuals that were incorporated into "mummy" wrappings. Likely there were also vast numbers of painted banners, screens and wall hangings etc. that failed to survive due to their relative fragility and local climate.

So, although the average person wouldn't see as many images as we do on a daily basis, they would encounter quite a large number on occasions. People like colour and art provides it in spades.

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13 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I suspect the Gargoyles will object, probably to the detriment of the carver. :-)

There was an article on vivisculpture in Tales of the Reaching Moon that explicitly covered the carving of gargoyles as a work of art.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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in my campaign one of the party members was participating in art contest by painting non figurative art. In another scenario the mission was to transport a 3m by 2 m glass painting from Real City to New Pavis Temple without Lunars getting wind of it. 

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23 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I suspect the Gargoyles will object, probably to the detriment of the carver. :-)

... maybe the Gargoyles ARE the carvers!

< mightily resisting the temptation to invent some article in a hard-to-find back issue of some low-circulation 'Zine from 1979, which defined Gargoyles as the pre-eminent Gloranthan sculptors... >

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

.. maybe the Gargoyles ARE the carvers!

Now that I like! 

Hmm, seems like that has to work into a good mythic story.  Perhaps they were a gift to Ernalda when she went to Yelm sent by Genert (or similar).  She set them to their task of carving the Garden walls so that the stone walls reflected the beauty of the life within.  Of course, the Storm gods (and others) eventually broke the walls after Yelm fell, but there are still some gargoyles who know, or remember, or perhaps quest for such skill.  Or perhaps there are Earth priestesses, particularly in Esrolia, who know the myth and know how to quest to the Garden, with a lifeless statue in hand, and imbue the statue with the powers of a living gargoyle.  Of course, they are then set to work carving great works in places like Ezel or the Necropolis or the Sacred City within Nochet.

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4 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Now that I like! 

Hmm, seems like that has to work into a good mythic story.  Perhaps they were a gift to Ernalda when she went to Yelm sent by Genert (or similar).  She set them to their task of carving the Garden walls so that the stone walls reflected the beauty of the life within.  Of course, the Storm gods (and others) eventually broke the walls after Yelm fell, but there are still some gargoyles who know, or remember, or perhaps quest for such skill.  Or perhaps there are Earth priestesses, particularly in Esrolia, who know the myth and know how to quest to the Garden, with a lifeless statue in hand, and imbue the statue with the powers of a living gargoyle.  Of course, they are then set to work carving great works in places like Ezel or the Necropolis or the Sacred City within Nochet.

It's from an old 'Tales of the Reaching Moon' article about sculpture in Glorantha. It's a fun read.

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The vivisculpture article in Tales was meant to show the decadence of the Lunar Heartlands, written by our resident high priest of MGF, with extra emphasis on the Fun bit of it.

Basically, it serves as an example of an abhorrent practice that shows the disregard of the upper crust of Lunar nobility for the suffering their art brings to others. This leaves the door open for other forms of "art" that involve mutilation. Real world performance artists subject themselves to all kinds of mutilation, but acclaimed Lunar artists serving the needs of thrill-seeking idle nobility will perform on slaves. They might take practices from the Gerran pyramid and profane them for entertaining jaded idlers.

Don't forget that madness is valued by the Lunar Way. The orgies of the emperor (especially Argenteus) and those who imitate them will feature displays that will sicken any old stodgy but basically decent follower of non-Lunar cults. Some "party games" might even shock Eurmali tricksters, like e.g. inviting a random portion of a Lunar mob to test the cuisine of an apprentice walktapus-preparing chef to find where he went wrong.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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We don't have to look to Lunar exotica or other Gloranthan example to see mutilation-in-pursuit-of-beauty-and-art, after all!

Most modern folk decry the ancient Chinese upper-class "foot-binding," and virtually all of the Western world despises FGM/clitoridectomy/etc;  Piercings, guages, neck-stretchers, etc... surgical removal of lower ribs to enable tighter corset-lacing.  Many even consider "ordinary" tattoo's to be the same sort of "mutilation," let alone the more-extreme bodymod's like branding & other scarification-for-effect...

Then there is the plethora of tyrants & other rulers who decided that various forms of "entertainment" and/or "spectacle" and/or "object lesson" could be combined into art=horror...

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i once had a convention roommate who had surgically transformed themselves into a Cat-Person, including new teeth and a revised nose area. Other than figuring out how to address them (they were transgender as well as transspecies) it worked out OK. I heard about a cat-person who underwent similar procedures commiting suicide last year, but I don't know if it's the same person.

I personally have no tattoos. I just don't like the idea. But I really don;t look down on those that do (and some of the people I see in Portland are inked to the eyebrows, which might take it a teeny bit too far). I've also heard about people piercing things that really shouldn't be pierced (how can one breast-feed an infant if both your nipples are/were pierced?). I see it as a sign of the times, and an understandable resistance to the conformity everyone seeks to impose on modern youth. That I wouldn't do it myself doesn;t make it threatening in itself.

Of course, we have all seen what happens when a tyrant or dictator has people tattood to identify them as a class everyone else is mandated to hate (sometimes to homicidal degrees). I wonder if some cults have their initates be required to accept a tattioo orf piercing as a symbol of their devotion (much as the Isrealites and their decendants had parents cut off the foreskins of their newborn sons). Perhaps some tattoos even have magical significance -- spirits linked to a cult are more friendly to its initiates and might eve3n embody some of their power into a person's tattoos.

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On May 22, 2016 at 2:17 PM, Iskallor said:

Murals abound in Glorantha, are their gods of art?

 

Tylenea is often considered the cosmic patroness of art as a concept. Individual guilds (that may specifically be limited to painters, or may have painters included within a broad craft such as pottery) may have their own patron deity as well.

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Direct worship of a Celestial Court deity only works for Uleria, right? Larnste is worshipped through his grandson, and I seem to recall a Kargan subcult in the Humakt cult, but that's about the sum of addressing the CC in current cults that I know of. Tylenea's heir could be Donandar, patron of the immaterial arts like music or drama/acting. Acos could be another go-to candidate, he stands for the permanence that a painting and even more a mural or a statue or relief attain.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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