The Book Michael Manning’s The Nibelungen

In 2008 Michael Manning was approached by Austrian based writer and publisher Erwin Tschofen who ordered a commission of 29 drawings as illustrations for his new version of the Nibelungenlied, an ancient tale of rise and fall of the Burgundians, once ruler over large parts of German land. Set before the dark medieval times, Siegfried a hero of godlike dimensions encounters (and marries) his true love - Kriemhild - but is killed by her relatives over a quarrel. His death is then brutally revenged by his widow and causes the downfall of the whole Burgundian Empire.

The Nibelungenlied is known to be the oldest German based saga ever written down, and is said to be at least 1200 years old. It is one of the best known sagas of ancient times. It contains all ingredients of a modern Shakespearean drama and impresses with an almost total lack of moral sense of all main characters. This fact could be interpreted as a way of social medieval social behavior but also reflects nowadays thinking and acting of a large part of people in charge. Using Symbolism and Mythology as well as a deep understanding of human nature and thus a lecture of its own the Nibelungenlied is a good example of tales told to change people’s perception.

Designed by CISADA communication, an advertising agency founded by Sandra Müller, long time associate and partner of Erwin Tschofen the book took shape over the months. Finally published in 2010 the book resembles a well sought combination of modern tale telling, historical plot and combined with Manning’s extraordinary talent for detailed black & white ink drawing profess to be a perfect metamorphosis of ancient history and modern art.

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The Book Michael Manning’s The Nibelungen

 


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