I thought I would share some rough drafts of illustrations I'm working on for an upcoming potential project on the mythology behind the Cthulhu Mythos. The following images represent "historical" images of Cthulhu's cult statue, as interpreted by various cultures, with scholarly "descriptions" of the pieces of (fake) ancient art.
Since many people on the internet have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction, let me offer this disclaimer: The following images are 100% fake. I drew them myself, and they in no way, shape, or form represent genuine historical images of Great Cthulhu or anyone else.
Image 1: Mayan Depiction of Great Cthulhu. Found in a twelfth century CE codex, itself a copy of a ninth century original, this image shows Cthulhu in his typical squatting pose but with the symbols of a Mayan underworld god. Such imagery indicates a recognition that the Old One waits dead but dreaming in the underworld.
Image 2: Medieval Depiction of Great Cthulhu. The edges of medieval manuscripts frequently featured grotesque figures known as "drolleries," images inserted by bored scribes for their own amusement. This drollery from a thirteenth century CE European treatise on astrology has the unmistakable form of the cult statue of Cthulhu. Though officially condemned by the Church, secret images of the Old Ones could sometimes be found in depictions of demons and grotesques during the medieval period.
Image 3: Early Modern Dutch Depiction of Great Cthulhu. Sixteenth century Dutch nautical charts often included images of strange beasts travelers reported encountering. The border of this nautical chart, by Olaus Magnus (1490-1557) or a later imitator, depicts what appears to be the cult statue of Great Cthulhu in the form of a sea monster with stylized water spouts (as from a whale's blow hole) serving in place of tentacles.
All images are copyright © 2011 Jason Colavito. All rights reserved. You may not reproduce, distribute, or publish these images without the express written permission of Jason Colavito.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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