Friday, November 15, 2013

Return of the Prodigal

Return of the Prodigal
egg tempera 24 x 24
James Butler

A third and last book, The Hills Beyond, was culled from the mountain of manuscripts left behind by Thomas Wolfe after his death. The novella, Return of the Prodigal, which is included in The Hills Beyond is a semi-autobiographical description of Wolfe's return to Asheville N.C. Although he died before it was published, Return of the Prodigal confirms the passion, energy and sensitivity that made Wolfe the most promising American writer of his generation.

Although the figures in my painting do not physically represent the characters in Wolfe's Return of the Prodigal, they do represent the emotive theme of Wolfe's novella. The young daughter is returning from a life without moral compass and is seeking redemption. The mother is offering unconditional love and forgiveness.

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