Abran Triumphant

Write about the history surrounding a unique artefact or work of art in your world.

Standing half as large again as life, Merichon the Younger's statue of first Emperor of Marivar is widely regarded as not just one of his finest works but one of the finest in the whole empire. It was sculpted from a single block of Bok Marble from the famed, but short lived quarry of Pshoo. It was originally housed in the entrance hall of the Imperial Palace in Mariv-thip but relocated to Abran’s Square where it formed part of the Imperial Box and replaced a much inferior statue of Abran that had stood without shelter in the centre of the square.  

Design and Form

The status shows Abran dressed in the armour of a Thurrol wielding a spear with which he is transfixing a lion. The Thurrol armour was rather... minimal, giving great scope for the use of the Bok marble's flesh tones and Merichon's superlative skills at anatomical representation. The transfixed lion lies at Abran's feet while Abran himself is looking to his left and shouting.  

Iconography and Interpretation

Whilse some have seen the statue as simply a piece of heroic posturing it is generally believed that it represents Abran's defeating of Corron which closed the Marivan Wars and ushered in the great years of the Empire's expansion. This is based on the fact that Abran is reported by several independent sources to have lead the Thurrol of Harren in that conflict and Corrol's use of the lion as his personal emblem.  

The Statue as Theatre

The statue's open mouth is actually one end of a tube which runs through the status and into its petestal via Abran's left foot this allows a person hidden in the pedestal to speak, shout or roar as Abran and the same channel carries wires that allow the operator to move the eyes in the statue's head. How Merichon managed to carve this internal detail into the single block of marble is a mystery that has flummoxed all who have tried to understand it, including Hieron Nollerute (who failed to explain this but did show that the geometry of the channel had be carefully crafted to minimise the acoustic distortion of the sound carried).  

Cultural Significance

In its current position in the Square, the statue is widely seen as the omnivigilent witness to the transactions undertaken in the square. Though more mundane witnesses are recruited contracts entered into in the square are seen as more solemn and binding for being made under the statue's gaze. Copies of the statue are found in several of the major towns and cities of the empire where they play a similar if slightly diluted role and miniatures of it are often kept in courts of law or offices as a symbol of the seriousness of the business undertaken. This treads a fine line between cultural significance and a more religious aspect. The desire to go one better than Abran is often seen as one of the causes of the later emperors' aspirations to divinity.

Merichon the Younger

The grandson of Merichon Thipman Merichon the younger was born in (I really must sort out the chronology). He was brought up in his grandfather's workshop where he learnt the basics of the craft on offcuts and rubble. His talent first became clear with his sculpture "Fist" which he made at the age of eight - overnight from half a brick and which he used to bludgeon a neighbourhood bully after his practice of the craft was mocked.
He gradually took on more of his grandfather's work finishing several of the pieces that an advancing case of Rootsickness had left his grandfather unable to finish before taking on the studio outright. In the following years he built a reputation for fine figurative work, notably busts, before he was commissioned to create the statue of Abran Triumphant based on a set of murals of Abran's triumphs in the banqueting hall of the Imperial Palace.
This used the largest block of marble ever brought from the quarry at Pshoo in the last year of its operation. His later work never achieved the monumental splendour and grace he managed in Abran Triumphant as the lesser stone available after Pshoo ceased operating could not take the strains imposed on it by his style of carving. After the catastrophi structural failure of two larger than life statues he refocused on busts of the notable and nobles and died aged 58 leaving a rich body of work, much sought after by collectors.


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