Fire in Art and Storytelling

Riddles, Riddles from A to Z by Carl Memling illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (1962) burning leaves

Effulgent: (literary) shining brightly; radiant

Lambent: (literary) (of light or fire) glowing, gleaming, or flickering with a soft radiance.

Lucent: (literary) glowing with or giving off light.

Refulgent: (literary) shining very brightly

Charles Robinson (English, 1870-1937) with Leprechaun disguised as a flame from a short story 'The Bog-Wood Box' by Marjorie L.C. Pickthall, 1914
Charles Robinson (English, 1870-1937) with Leprechaun disguised as a flame from a short story ‘The Bog-Wood Box’ by Marjorie L.C. Pickthall, 1914

HEARTH

For more on the significance and symbolism of the home hearth, see this post.

Another one from Louis Wain, Cats by the Fire
Another one from Louis Wain, Cats by the Fire. I’m pretty sure the black cat started a conflagration.
Manuel Delosas poster c 1942 NYFD Midnight Alarm Giant Demonstration
Manuel Delosas poster c 1942 NYFD Midnight Alarm Giant Demonstration
George Martin Ottinger - Sugar Refinery Burning 1885 fire
George Martin Ottinger – Sugar Refinery Burning 1885
Attack on the Armada Invincibile by Jean-Leon Huens, Belgium
Attack on the Armada Invincibile by Jean-Leon Huens, Belgium
Krystyna Turska, 1972
1937 February, cover by Antonio Petruccelli fire
1937 February, cover by Antonio Petruccelli

BURN OFFS

A PRAIRIE BOY'S SUMMER (1975) William Kurelek fire
A PRAIRIE BOY’S SUMMER (1975) William Kurelek
by Edna Eicke (1919-1979)
Edna Eicke (1919-1979)
Ruth Ruhman (American, 1925-2011) for a poem called Autumn Fires, A Child's Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1964
Ruth Ruhman (American, 1925-2011) for a poem called Autumn Fires, A Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1964

CONFLAGRATION

Fire in the Admiralty line jobs, 1673, Romeyn de Hooghe (attributed to), after Jan van der Heyden, 1690 - 1735
Fire in the Admiralty line jobs, 1673, Romeyn de Hooghe (attributed to), after Jan van der Heyden, 1690 – 1735
Cover by Achille Beltrame 1906 fire
Cover by Achille Beltrame 1906
The Great Sea Horse 1909 by Isabel Anderson fire
The Great Sea Horse 1909 by Isabel Anderson
N. Zeitlin - Tales of the Brothers Grimm Three Lucky Ones fire
N. Zeitlin – Tales of the Brothers Grimm Three Lucky Ones
Battle of Çesme at Night (1848) by Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900) depicting a battle during the Russo-Turkish War
'Stampede'  This unusual Western painting was salvaged from the Coney Island House of Horrors, c. 1935 artist unknown, fire
‘Stampede’ This Western painting was salvaged from the Coney Island House of Horrors, c. 1935 artist unknown, fire

John Atkinson Grimshaw, In Peril, 1879 fire
John Atkinson Grimshaw, In Peril, 1879
Illustration by Ed Emberley in 'Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home' written by Judy Hawes. First published 1967, this reprint in Butler and Tanner, 1970 2
Illustration by Ed Emberley in ‘Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home’ written by Judy Hawes. First published 1967, this reprint in Butler and Tanner, 1970
Huckle's Mum sets the house on fire while ironing Daddy's shirt, Richard Scarry
Huckle’s Mum sets the house on fire while ironing Daddy’s shirt, Richard Scarry
Anastasia Arkhipova - The Steadfast Tin Soldier fire
Anastasia Arkhipova – The Steadfast Tin Soldier
By Kay Nielsen (1886-1957) 'The Lovers Perish in the Fire' f. Arabian Nights, 1917
By Kay Nielsen (1886-1957) ‘The Lovers Perish in the Fire’ f. Arabian Nights, 1917
Gary Larsson
Gary Larsson
from a Baffling Mysteries magazine from 1952 but might also be the ending to Gilbert Grape.

BONFIRE

A bonfire is a big campfire, right? Except it’s not just for warmth but for fun and celebration and to raise the emotional charge of a celebration.

Bonfire Night by John Kenney 1967
Bonfire Night by John Kenney 1967
Walter Crane 1845 - 1915 London Town Guy Fawkes Day
Walter Crane 1845 – 1915 London Town Guy Fawkes Day
‘Bonfire Night’ (1951) John Bull magazine by Ronald Lampitt
‘Bonfire Night’ (1951) John Bull magazine by Ronald Lampitt
Tom Adams (1926 - 2019) 1973 book cover illustration for 'Destination Unknown' by Agatha Christie
Tom Adams (1926 – 2019) 1973 book cover illustration for ‘Destination Unknown’ by Agatha Christie

CORPSE BURNING

Corpse burning at a tribe in a distant land, Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne, 1623 - 1628
Corpse burning at a tribe in a distant land, Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne, 1623 – 1628
A woman jumps on the stake of her dead husband, 1597, anonymous, after Johannes of Lucas van Doetechum, 1646.
A woman jumps on the stake of her dead husband, 1597, anonymous, after Johannes of Lucas van Doetechum, 1646.

HELL FIRE

Devil stokes the fire in France and Holland, 1830, William Heath, 1830
Devil stokes the fire in France and Holland, 1830, William Heath, 1830
1909 Frank Pape, for Anatole France's Penguin Island fire
1909 Frank Pape, for Anatole France’s Penguin Island
Weird Tales v05 n02 (1925-02)
Weird Tales v05 n02 (1925-02)

FIRE AS LIGHTING

Lennart Helje (1940) cat gnome mouse
Lennart Helje (1940)
Charles Santore, William the Curious: Knight of the Water Lilies
Charles Santore, William the Curious: Knight of the Water Lilies

EXPLOSION

from the film Hell Or High Water
from the film Hell Or High Water
from the film The Thing
from the film The Thing
Cover of A Burning A Novel by Megha Majumdar
Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan’s fall. Lovely–an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor–has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.

BURN OFF

from the film Hell Or High Water
from the film Hell Or High Water

WHAT EVEN IS THIS

Edward Gorey fire tea
Edward Gorey, probably a big bowl of wassail lit on fire. It might be a game of Snap-dragon.
Nineteenth Century German Tales illustrated by Edward Gorey 1959 fire
Nineteenth Century German Tales illustrated by Edward Gorey 1959
Lucille Corcos 'The Sorcerer', A Treasury of Gilbert &  Sullivan. Simon & Schuster, New York, 1941. Edited by Deems Taylor
Lucille Corcos ‘The Sorcerer’, A Treasury of Gilbert & Sullivan. Simon & Schuster, New York, 1941. Edited by Deems Taylor
European Expressionist painter Marianne von Werefkin, Police Post, Wilna, 1914
European Expressionist painter Marianne von Werefkin, Police Post, Wilna, 1914
De Coulanges, 1928-Christmas Fontanet (1898-1982) fire
De Coulanges, 1928-Christmas Fontanet (1898-1982)

Fire can be a powerful and sometimes all consuming force. Helpful and dangerous in equal measure, the ability to use fire sets man apart from the animals. It should not be too surprising then that fire features heavily in our folklore and traditions.

The Folklore Podcast
Janet and Anne Grahame-Johnstone - Aladdin fire
Janet and Anne Grahame-Johnstone – Aladdin fire
Murder In The Calais Coach by Agatha Christie artwork by Tom Adams fire
Murder In The Calais Coach by Agatha Christie artwork by Tom Adams

Stella lives in the segregated South; in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn’t bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella’s community – her world – is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end.

Lemon girl young adult novella

READ AT MY OTHER BLOG

Header illustration: Riddles, Riddles from A to Z by Carl Memling illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (1962) burning leaves