John Bauer - Riddaren Rider

by The Huge |Plomitallo|

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Front Cover, John Bauer – The Ring

John Bauer was born and raised in Jönköping with his two brothers and sister. Living in an apartment situated above their father's charcuterie, he was always given to sketching and drawing. At sixteen, he set off for Stockholm to study art, and after two years he entered the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts.
At the academy he met Esther Ellquist, whom he would marry in December 1906. Together they embarked on a two-year long trip to Germany and Italy to study art (1908–1910). Bauer's wife became the model for many of Bauer's paintings, most notably The Fairy Princess in 1905.
Bauer suffered from depression and self-doubts. By 1918 his marriage was falling apart, divorce was being discussed, and the world was at war. John and Esther, and their two-year old son, Bengt or Putte, were on their way to a new home in Stockholm, where John hoped for spiritual renewal and a new life for himself and his family. In the wake of the recent well-publicized train accident of Getå, John booked their return to Stockholm on a ferry, the Per Brahe steamer. John Bauer died in the shipwreck of Per Brahe along with Ester and Bengt.

Bauer's early work was influenced to a large extent by Albert Engström and Carl Larsson, two contemporaries and influential painters. Bauer's first major work was commissioned in 1904, when he was asked to illustrate a book on Lappland. It was not until 1907 that he would become known for his illustrations of Bland tomtar och troll, the yearly fairy tale book, in which his most highly acclaimed works would be published in the 1912-1915 editions.
Bauer also produced a fresco, Den helige Martin (The Holy Martin), which can be seen in the Odd Fellows lodge in Nyköping. Bauer's themes can be found in later works by the illustrators Arthur Rackham, Sulamith Wülfing, Kay Nielsen, Brian Froud and Rebecca Guay.
Modern day influence

On the 100-year anniversary of the birth of John Bauer, the Swedish postal service made three, and later in 1997 four stamps with motifs from Bland tomtar och troll.
A Scandinavian franchise of private schools has derived its name and some themes from John Bauer, naming its classes after his characters, for example.
He is mentioned in Neil Gaiman's comic book series The Sandman.
The visual look of the motion picture The Dark Crystal, by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, was developed by primary concept artist and chief creature designer, Brian Froud, who in turn was inspired by the art of John Bauer.
Norwegian Artist Mortiis uses the art of John Bauer on his ambient albums.

"Once upon a time there was a prince riding in the moonlight" is the caption to this image by John Bauer when it was printed in Helena Nyblom's fairy tale "The Ring". Riddaren Rider (1914)


released July 1, 2013

All songs are written, arranged, performed and produced by The Huge.



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The Huge |Plomitallo| Italy

The Huge is a song writer. Music is his greatest passion. He started playing and writing songs at the age of 8 after a beautiful childhood he enjoyed in the south of Italy. In a few years, he has developed a very personal style, always rethinking the artistic approach to his work. He loves taking photographs and shooting videos, as he considers these closely related to his former passion, drawing. ... more

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Track Name: Princess Tuvstar
ohn Bauer - Princess Tuvstar still stares at the water looking for her heart (1913)

From the Swedish tale of "Skutt the Moose and Princess Tuvstarr" AKA "Leap the Elk and Little Princess Cottongrass"

Music by The Huge. Played, Arranged and Produced by The Huge

Princess Tuvstarr is one of several illustrations done in 1913 for the book Princess Tuvstarr and the Fishpond. The images is of Princess Tuvstarr sitting by the pool looking for her heart from The story of Skutt the Moose and Princess Tuvstarr.

Have you ever been in a large forest and seen a strange black tarn hidden deep among the tall trees? It looks bewitched and a little frightening. All is still - fir trees and pines huddle close and silent on all sides. Sometimes the trees bend cautiously and shyly over the water as if they are wondering what may be hidden in the dark depths. There is another forest growing in the water, and it, too, is full of wonder and stillness. Strangest of all, never have the two forests been able to speak to each other....

Princess Tuvstarr (Princess Cottongrass), a girl with long wavy blonde hair, slips away from the Dream Castle to meet Leap the Elk, a strong, loyal, and protective creatures who carries the princess into the world on his powerful back after the princess pleads to take her with him:

'How big and stately you are. You have a crown, too. Let me come with you. Let me sit behind your neck, and then carry me out into life.' The elk hesitates. 'The world is big and cold, little child, and you are so small. The world is full of evil and wickedness, and it will hurt you.' 'No, no. I am young and warm. I have warmth enough for everyone. I am small and good, and want to share the good that I have.' 'Princess, the forest is dark and the roads are dangerous.' 'But you are with me. You are great and strong, and can easily defend us both.'"

Thus, the strong and wise elk carries the innocent and vulnerable Princess on his back out into the world. At first, all is well and the princess is delighted with what she sees on her journey. But, the princess is vulnerable and dangers from the dark forest lurk everywhere and, little by little, rob the princess of her innocence. At some point in the journey, she finds herself naked, robbed of her fine white gown. The elk watches over her vulnerable naked body as she sleeps under the stars at night. He becomes anxious, worried that his strength and wisdom will not be sufficient to protect the little princess.

"He seems to want to move on, and bends down to let the princess climb on his back. Then they are gone in a rush, galloping east. He hardly hears when she calls to him, and rarely answers. As if in a fever he breaks through the tangled forest at a furious rate. 'Where are we going?' asks Princess Cottongrass. 'To the pool,' is the answer. 'Deep in the forest is a pool, and that is where I go when autumn is coming. No person has ever been there, but you shall see it.'"

The elk warns her to be careful of the danger in the water, to watch her golden heart chain around her neck. But, the princess, mesmerized by the dark shining water bends forward for a closer look and the golden heard slips over her head and drops in the pool. 'Oh, my heart, the golden heart that my mother gave me the day I was born. Oh, what shall I do?' She is inconsolable and wanders over the tussocks to look for her heart. The elk warns her 'It is dangerous for you here. Looking for one thing, you will forget everything else.'

But, the princess wants to stay to find her heart. She gently strokes the elk and kisses his bent head. 'Then, small and slim and undressed, she goes and sits down on a grassy hillock. For a long time the elk stands quite still and looks at the small girl. But when she no longer seems to notice that he is there, he turns and disappears with hesitant steps into the forest.'

"Many years have passed. Still Princess Cottongrass sits and looks wonderingly into the water for her heart. She is no longer a little girl. Instead, a slender plant, crowned with white cotton, stands leaning over the edge of the pool. Now and then the elk returns, stops, and looks at it tenderly. Only he knows that this is the princess from Dream Castle. Perhaps she nods and smiles, for he is an old friend, but she does not want to follow him back; she cannot follow any more, as long as she is under the spell. The spell lies in the pool. Far, far under the water lies a lost heart."

Still Princess Cottongrass sits and looks wonderingly into the dark depths of the water.
Track Name: Inge by the Dark Lake Side
Music by The Huge. Played, Arranged and Produced by The Huge

Inge by the Dark Lake Side, by John Bauer (1910)

From "Bland Tomtar och Troll" (Among Elves and Trolls), an annual Christmas book for children
Track Name: Rottrollen
Rottrollen, John Bauer 1917

Music by The Huge. Played, Arranged and Produced by The Huge
Track Name: The changeling
Music by The Huge. Played, Arranged and Produced by The Huge

Trolls with the changeling they have raised, from "Bland Tomtar och Troll", John Bauer 1913

Illustration to Helena Nyblom's (1843 – 1926) The changelings in anthology Among pixes and trolls, 1913
Track Name: So, how is your appetite, troll mother continued
Music by The Huge. Played, Arranged and Produced by The Huge

So, how is your appetite, troll mother continued, John Bauer 1915

Walter Stenström's The boy and the trolls or The Adventure in anthology Among pixies and trolls, a collection of childrens' stories, 1915
(Walter Stenström 1881 - 1926)
Track Name: A wonderful little fairy
Music by The Huge. Played, Arranged and Produced by The Huge

At that moment she was changed by magic to a wonderful little fairy. John Bauer, 191?

Alfred Smedberg's The seven wishes in Among pixies and trolls, an anthology of childrens' stories

(Walter Stenström 1881 - 1926)
Track Name: But how do I get into the mountain, the gnome boy asked
Music by The Huge. Played, Arranged and Produced by The Huge

But how do I get into the mountain, the gnome boy asked. John Bauer, 1909

Alfred Smedberg's The trolls and the gnome boy in the childrens' stories collection Among pixies and trolls, 1909

Alfred Smedberg (1850 -1925)
Track Name: Freja
Music by The Huge. Played, Arranged and Produced by The Huge
Track Name: Freja och Svipdag
Music by The Huge. Played, Arranged and Produced by The Huge

Freyja and Svipdag illustrated by John Bauer in 1911 for Our Fathers' Godsaga by Viktor Rydberg

Viktor Rydberg (1828 -1895)

Svipdagr (Old Norse "sudden day") is the hero of the two Old Norse Eddaic poems Grógaldr and Fjölsvinnsmál, which are contained within the body of one work; Svipdagsmál. Svipdagr is set a task by his stepmother, to meet the goddess Menglöð, who is his "fated bride."In order to accomplish this seemingly impossible task, he summons by necromancy the shade of his dead mother, Gróa, a völva who also appears in the Prose Edda, to cast nine spells for him. This she does and the first poem abruptly ends.
At the beginning of the second poem, Svipdagr arrives at Menglöð's castle, where he is interrogated in a game of riddles by the watchman, from whom he conceals his true name (identifying himself as Vindkald(r) "Wind-Cold" apparently hoping to pass himself off as a frost giant). The watchman is named Fjölsviðr, a name of Odin in Grímnismál 47. He is accompanied by his wolf-hounds Geri and Gifr. After a series of eighteen questions and answers concerning the castle, its inhabitants, and its environment, Svipdagr ultimately learns that the gates will only open to one person: Svipdagr. On his revealing his identity, the gates of the castle open and Menglöð rises to greet her expected lover, welcoming him "back" to her.
A champion by the same name, perhaps the same character, appears in the Prologue to the Prose Edda, in Heimskringla and in Gesta Danorum. A hero named Svipdag is one of the companions of King Hrolfr Kraki.
Since the 19th century, following Jacob Grimm, Menglöð has been identified with the goddess Freyja in most scholarship. In his children's book Our Fathers' Godsaga, the Swedish scholar Viktor Rydberg identifies Svipdagr with Freyja's husband Óðr/Óttar. His reasons for doing so are outlined in the first volume of his Undersökningar i germanisk mythologi (1882). Other scholars who have commented on these poems in detail include Hjalmar Falk (1893), B. Sijmons and Hugo Gering (1903), Olive Bray (1908), Henry Bellows (1923), Otto Höffler (1952), Lee M. Hollander (1962), Lotte Motz (1975), Einar Ólafur Sveinsson (1975), Carolyne Larrington (1999), and John McKinnell (2005).
There is also a Swæbdæg in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle among the forefathers of Aella, King of Deira.
Track Name: Awake Groa
Music by The Huge. Played, Arranged and Produced by The Huge

Awake Mother. John Bauer, 1911

For Our Fathers' Godsaga by Viktor Rydber.óa