A Short story by Rudyard Kipling.
This was the most time that I’ve devoted to a skull painting in quite some time, it might actually be one the few skull paintings that I’ve painted. I think this painting has a good use of color.
Skulls are a traditional subject matter. When I see a skull I think of death, but not in a bad way, more like a “memento mori” kind of death, a self realization that we will all die one day – even the wealthy – and that everything we do is only temporary. The crown adds a layer of irony, atleast for me, since the short story of Rudyard Kipling is about a man who would have been king had he not wanted a native wife – I sort of relate to this story. I think that I could be a great artist but if only I’d focus. This painting reminds me that we are our own worst enemies, and even if we do succeed, we are all still mortal.
“The Man Who Would Be King” (1888) is a short story by Rudyard Kipling. It is about two British adventurers in British India who become kings of Kafiristan, a remote part of Afghanistan. The story was inspired by the exploits of James Brooke, an Englishman who became the first White Rajah of Sarawak in Borneo; and by the travels of American adventurer Josiah Harlan, who was granted the title Prince of Ghor in perpetuity for himself and his descendants. It incorporates a number of other factual elements such as locating the story in eastern Afghanistan’s Kafiristan and the European-like appearance of many of Kafiristan’s Nuristani people, and an ending modelled on explorer Adolf Schlagintweit.