Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Gruss vom Krampus


Season's Greetings from the Bennignus-Tolentino household - and welcome to a sorely-delayed blog entry.  This time around, I thought it best to feature my annual holiday card (our leanings are fond of, albeit not exclusive to, Christmas)... and this year my Germanic roots won out, in the form of a Krampus illustration.

*Polished trotters, in lieu of tuxedo pumps...

 I am deeply gratified to see that Krampus has taken a hefty hold in recent years among Americans - he provides the antidote to Saint Nicholas' cheering benevolence by posing a formidable threat to children who have been lax in the "good behavior department" throughout the year.  Equipped with chains, birch rods and a washtub on his back, he punishes naughty children - taking the worst of them with him to be carted off for drowning, eating... or a trip to hell.

 *Mistletoe, as a suggestion...

 There are many Victorian-era postcards depicting this refreshing creature, some of which tap into his seductive nature.  It seems he also has a penchant for the ladies, meeting them in doorways, kneeling before them with glistening baubles... offering himself, to put it politely.  Being a fanatic for well-dressed fellows, I chose to represent my Krampus as a dandy - at least as dandified as a beast with cloven hooves and a serpent's tongue can be made to appear.

 *French cuffs frame long fingers.

 He reclines on a recamier, upholstered in Beardsley Rose-printed silk.  Wearing what looks like a herringbone-petersham hybrid vest, the Rose is echoed in his buttonhole, with a detachable-collared shirt... naturally.

 *Charmeuse lapels...


 A closer look at his face.  Krampus always boasts a tongue of astonishing dimension, as well as a demon's tail.  In this case, he flourishes both with aplomb, unafraid to show his teeth just a bit... seducer, indeed.

Lastly, his birch rods.  Without heading in too "blue" a direction on this blog, let's just say that these aren't intended for use exclusively on naughty children.

This Krampus illustration is currently en route to Los Angeles, where it will be added to the exquisite collection of oddities kept by a rather fascinating couple, as well as their lovely children.  I do hope that those kiddos see the humor in this piece, just as I did as a small child when approached by my own parents with similar artwork.  Little drawings like this have a way of infusing your childhood imagination with marvelous visions... I can't hope for anything less.

*Until next time.

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