John Martin, Manfred on the Jungfrau, 1837
From the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery:
Romantic artists and writers were fascinated by the relationship of man to nature and this was frequently expressed through the image of figures on clifftops. Manfred is about to throw himself from the cliff but is restrained by a chamois hunter who leads him to safety. The episode is taken from Act I scene II of Byron’s dramatic poem ‘Manfred’:
'…And you, ye crags upon whose extreme edge
I stand, and on the torrent’s brink beneath
Behold the tall pines dwindled as to shrubs
In dizziness of distance, when a leap,
A stir, a motion, even a breath, would bring
My breast upon its rocky bosom’s bed
To rest for ever - wherefore do I pause?
…Thou winged and cloud-cleaving minister,
Whose happy flight is highest into heaven,
Well may’st thou swoop so near me…
…How beautiful is all this visible world!
How glorious in its action and itself!’
Caravaggio (attr.), The Tooth Puller (c. 1607/8) & Rombouts, The Charlatan Dentist (1620-5).
Katsuhika Hokusai (October 31, 1760 – May 10, 1849)
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Français 91, detail of f. 1 (demonic council) Robert de Borron, L’Istoire de Merlin (1480-1485). Artist: Jean Colombe
Paul Gauguin, Life and Death, 1891-1893