Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Illustration Friday - Launch

The topic "Launch" first made me think of rockets and ships, but then I remembered the line, "a face that launched a thousand ships", which of course refers to Helen of Troy. The quote is from Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, written sometime between 1590 and 1604:

Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.

According to legend, Helen was a Spartan princess, who although already married, was abducted or ran off with Paris, a prince from the city of Troy. This started the Trojan War, with Helen's husband, Menelaus, raising a huge fleet of thousands of ships to attack Troy. I decided to show Helen dressed in typical Minoan dress, as this is when the myth dates from. I especially love the hairstyles, shown in a fresco above, from Knossos.


  1. i am LOVING the illustrations!

  2. Very elegant illustrations. Great work.

  3. Lovely, and I like that you went another way than most for "launch".

  4. I love the black and white one. Such delicate features, very beautiful.

  5. loved the illustration and also the thought behind it.