Tuesday 13 March 2012

Artists create out of a sense of desolation.

While familiarising myself with the history and works of El Greco through the power of the Wikipedian Hivemind, I came across the piece displayed here, an oil on canvas work titled The Holy Trinity.

I think this, for me, highlights the true genius of El Greco. Not only was he a fine artist, but he was an utter visionary, predicting the forthcoming plight of group composition in the early days of MMOs, and then realising that vision on canvas.

In the painting we can see the poor Tank, exhausted from the infinite pressures of leading a group through another dungeon instance, falling into the arms of the Healer who continues to desperately keep the Tank on his feet. Meanwhile, the DPS stand around looking confused and generally getting under the Healer’s feet (there’s definitely a foot-based theme underpinning this work); I think the one in the blue dress is probably about to helpfully yell “HEAL MEH!”, or perhaps complain about the Healer’s lack of ability. The DPS just to the left of The Primary Whiner appears to be contemplating the ground – one presumes the subject is curious about the big puddle of fire they all seem to be standing in.

Meanwhile, the DPS in green to the front left appears to be supporting the Tank, but a closer examination shows that their gaze is drawn down, calculating, and focussed elsewhere on the Tank, possibly trying to work out the value of the Tank’s gear score in order to complain bitterly about it, or simply assessing the gear’s value to determine whether it’s worth asking for the Tank’s stuff when they rage-quit the game.

The two DPS on the right of the picture are clearly aligned in the classic Get The F*ck On With It pose used by artists in the late 1500’s, and thus provide the picture’s balancing composition to The Whiners in the left third, with the Tank and Healer in the centre third.

I think it’s obvious that the dove represents Lady RNG, passing quickly over the group, ready to poop onto the head of the Tank from a reasonable height.

Not entirely sure about the disembodied baby heads sitting at the Tank’s feet, however. Possibly an abstract expression of the Tank’s battered self-esteem, or those maddening voices whose whispers sow the doubts and lassitudes which are the harbingers of the desolation of the soul.

Or maybe El Greco was just rubbish at drawing crafting nodes. Who knows?

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