Friday, September 3, 2010

The Vampire Chronicles Art Gallery

Death and the Miser, Hieronymous Bosch.
Interview With The Vampire
Melissa Walker, who created an awesome online art gallery of all the art featured in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles tells how her obsession got started.

Hello Vamp Chix!

The Vampire Chronicles Art Gallery was born in 1998 from a phenomenon I’ll call Vamp Fandom Gone Wild! Back then, the internet was swamped with Anne Rice fan sites full of dripping blood bars and Concrete Blonde MIDI’s blaring in the background. Very few sites depicted the VC’s with the elegant depth in which we read within the pages.

A group of us fans met in AOL chats and tried to build our character sites with a higher standard in mind. At some point, I wanted to see a piece of art Louis mentions in the Theatre des Vampires and the idea to showcase all of the art was born. The online resources were slim and our computers weren’t up to par with the project, but four us worked together until a gallery site worthy of the Chronicles was built.

To me, the artwork betrays the state of mind of the character who describes it in the books. As the gallery grows, you will notice the art Louis mentions in Interview with a Vampire is far more dark and broody than those pieces Marius mentions in Blood and Gold. The subtle symbolism Anne writes into the scene with Daniel and Armand at the Villa of Mysteries in Queen of the Damned blew my mind when I realized why Armand had taken him there. The murals Daniel describes represent a rite of passage - the blood red artwork surrounds him as Armand denies him immortality yet enslaves him at the same time.
La Primavera, Sandro Botticelli. Mentioned in The Vampire Armand

Deep. Stuff. And I never would have gotten it if I didn’t see the paintings.

For the first time since its creation, Ms. Rice finally saw the gallery last week. (Okay, I plugged a link on her Facebook page, I admit it!) She was honored by it, and when I read her praise, I felt goosebumps on top of my goosebumps. I still have infinite respect for the woman who gave us a genre of vampire fiction that opened up a million doors for writers who wanted Dracula to come down off his mountaintop castle and mingle with the masses. I often wonder where urban fantasy and paranormal romance would be without her.
Amor Victorius, Michelangelo Caravaggio. Mentioned in The Vampire Lestat

The gallery has undergone four transformations over the years, this latest version blog style. I love this format as it gives me the opportunity to easily connect with the fans who stop by and comment. I’ve always met the nicest people through this site and look forward to meeting the new generation of fans as well as reconnecting with the old school fans too!

Please, visit and enjoy everything Anne’s vampires saw, take the time to re-read the Chronicles if you haven’t in a while, and revel in a time long ago when vampires never sparkled or went to high school.

~Melissa Walker
Vampire Chronicles Art Gallery
Edge of Forever Blog  (personal blog)

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