Fabian Fröhlich | Fantastische Illustrationen | Fantastic Illustrations

Posts tagged “Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe – Ultima Thule (Illustration for “Das Spukschloss” (The Haunted Palace) by Malte S. Sembten), 2012

Fabian Fröhlich, Edgar Allan Poe, Ultima Thule, Malte S. Sembten, Das Spukschloss

Fassung 4

“March 22.- The darkness had materially increased, relieved only by the glare of the water thrown back from the white curtain before us. Many gigantic and pallidly white birds flew continuously now from beyond the veil, and their scream was the eternal Tekeli-li! as they retreated from our vision. Hereupon Nu-Nu stirred in the bottom of the boat; but upon touching him, we found his spirit departed. And now we rushed into the embraces of the cataract, where a chasm threw itself open to receive us. But there arose in our pathway a shrouded human figure, very far larger in its proportions than any dweller among men. And the hue of the skin of the figure was of the perfect whiteness of the snow.”

Edgar Allan Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838)


“Im Gegensatz zu den modernen Zeugen war Poe aus seinem Todeserlebnis nicht angstfrei und sinnerfüllt hervorgegangen. Dazu genügte ein Blick auf seine fotographischen Konterfeis der letzten Jahre, bis hin zu jener Daguerreotypie Edwin H. Manchesters vom 9. November 1848, die Sarah Helen Whitman das ›Ultima Thule‹-Portrait‹ taufte — ›als sei er eben noch dem äußersten Weltenrand des Schreckens entrissen worden‹, wie sie es beschrieb – und mit vier Zeilen seines Gedichtes ›Dreamland‹ aus dem Jahre 1844 versah:

I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule —
From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime
Out of SPACE ­— out of TIME.”

Malte S. Sembten, “Das Spukschloss” (The Haunted Palace)



Die drawing is an illustration for a short story collection by Malte S. Sembten to be published in 2013. My starting pont was the “Ultima Thule” Portrait of  Poe, his novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and of course Malte’s short stories that includes references to both.

The image is a black ink drawing, drawn in negative, scanned and inverted with Photoshop, to get the white lines on black background. Because you don’t really get the picture while you are drawing, I scanned it several times to look at the interim results – fortunately, because only because of that the third version was preserved, which is maybe better than the finished one, though it is not quite what I intended, less light and “antarctic”.


Two Illustrations for “Erlkönig” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, 1993

“‘Mein Vater, mein Vater, und siehst du nicht dort
Erlkönigs Töchter am düstern Ort?’ —
‘Mein Sohn, mein Sohn, ich seh es genau:
Es scheinen die alten Weiden so grau. —’

‘Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt;
Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch ich Gewalt.’ —
‘Mein Vater, mein Vater, jetzt faßt er mich an!
Erlkönig hat mir ein Leids getan!’

aus Johann Wofgang von Goethe, “Erlkönig”, 1782

“And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!”

aus Edgar Allan Poe,”The Raven”, 1844


The illustrations for „Erlkönig“ and „The Raven“ were private comissions; they were published in the literary magazine Dandelion No. 3 in 1993.