Tag Archives: fairies

Mythological Beasts and Spirits: Sprite

With her arms, the Sprite embraced him, pressed her mouth on willing lips, Then drew back and laughed with pleasure, placed her hands upon her hips. From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
With her arms, the Sprite embraced him, pressed her mouth on willing lips,
Then drew back and laughed with pleasure, placed her hands upon her hips.
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

Sprites are spirits or fairies of various sorts. They are often identified with certain geographies or habitats such as water and forests. In my mind, it is hard to separate them cleanly from such beings as naiads, dryads, and nymphs. They are not always shown as feminine in gender. The following painting by Ernst Josephson is nondescript enough to draw in the imagination of the viewer. One reference interpreted “Nacken” as “The Water Sprite” and cited the year of completion as 1884 as opposed to the date given in the caption. I am not an art scholar, so I can verify neither.

Ernst Josephson: Näcken. NM 1905
Ernst Josephson: Näcken.
NM 1905

Here are a couple of additional offerings titled, “The Foam Sprite”…

The Foam Sprite by Herbert James Draper.
The Foam Sprite by Herbert James Draper.

…and “Singing Sprite” by Herbert James Draper, a Pre-Raphaelite artist.

Singing Sprite by Herbert James Draper.
Singing Sprite by Herbert James Draper.

In closing, I must admit that the following painting by  Draper is what inspired the use of the Mountain Sprite in one of my own attempts at an epic story poem. I would describe her as attractively insubstantial, and she was a character which I could use for some spiritual symbolism.

Clyties of the Mist by Herbert James Draper
Clyties of the Mist by Herbert James Draper

I have noted in posts from my Literary Legislation and Mythology on Canvas categories (black strip on the left of this page) that female characters from mythology are often visualized as wearing nothing or next to nothing. One could ascribe various meanings to this or offer different explanations as to why this is the case.

More spirits next week.

Animated Mythology (Part 7)

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Still shot from Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (2014), directed by Steve Loter.

Okay, so I lied in my last post, or at least I was mistaken. I decided to go one more week on the topic of animated mythology. Those following my blog might be a little surprised by this next and final selection for the series. Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast from DisneyToon Studios is obviously meant for a younger audience, but it contains the necessary elements of a myth. It features fairies, a creature with prescient awareness, and a a legend of prophesied cataclysm, so it should qualify as a suitable example. Some adults will be pleasantly surprised by the sophistication of the story line, and the artistic concept and image composistions are interesting and unique for the Tinker Bell video series. This is especially true for the monster’s transformation sequence, and the role played by this creature is different than one would expect.

Still shot from Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (2014), directed by Steve Loter.
Still shot from Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (2014), directed by Steve Loter.

So the last statement of the previous paragraph requires a full disclosure statement. Michael Greenholt, the Animation Supervisor for this project, is also my son-in-law, and I am obviously proud of his work. I do not think this invalidates my comment, however. A look at the quality of the animation on this video should confirm what I have written. To view some additional examples of Mike’s art, click here. To see a gallery post about Mike from More than Monsters (my other site) click here.