"The Mongol Rider"

 

David Normal:

 

A French poultry farmer bringing his goods to market. This figure became central to the composition of Curioscillotropy as he is mounted on the Chinese Dragon. I reworked his costume so that it resembles that of Mongol rider. By choosing a Mongol I am referring to the expulsion of the Mongols from China and their subsequent Westward expansion that eventually was a primary cause of the fall of the Roman Empire and the collapse of the Silk Road overland trade network. The figure fascinated me because of the preposterous load he is carrying on his back, and I made his burden even more outlandish by adding a galleon ship perched precariously on top of it all facing to the East - presaging the ultimate Western solution to the imposition of Asian infidels on the trade between Europe and the Far East.

 

Image taken from page 122 of 'Un Tour de Méditerranée, de Venise à Tunis, par Athènes, Constantinople et le Caire. 150 illustrations, etc' Collection of the British Library.

View illustration on British Library's Flickr Photostream

 

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