Archaic Smile


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“But the power of the fragment was in the face. It was set in a triumphant smile, a smile that would have been smug if it had not been so full of the purest metaphysical good humour. The eyes were faintly oriental, long, […] also smiling […] Because a star explodes and a thousand worlds like ours die, we know this world is. That is the smile: that what might not be, is.”

-John Fowles, The Magus

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2 Responses to Archaic Smile

  1. Marco Vins Della Motta says:

    Beautiful, Jules! And a breathtakingly beautiful quote as its subtitle and inspiration! I take it Fowles inspired it, no? Are you currently reading The Magus?


    • Grazie, Marco! It was actually a remark by Oscar Wilde on Leonardo Da Vinci’s fascination with the archaic smile that made me think of drawing this, although I was trying to give my own archaic smiler almost a bit of an alien quality. Afterwards I just googled around looking for a suitable quote about the idea of the archaic smile, and this one by Fowles seemed perfect. I’ve never read The Magus, but now I really would like to!


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