Mysterious Legends ~ Dagmar Renée Ritter

Mysterious Legends

We all love the famous ancient Greek mythology, legends from all over the world and mysterious stories.
For me, they are the roots of religions.

Everything that humans couldn't explain or frightens them, was stuff for a legend.
They felt helpless and overwhelmed by the force of nature and especially by the idea of dying. So it always gave and gives comfort to trust in a wise God, who leads humanity into a better life after death. I must admit, that as an atheist I envy persons who have a religious belief, for that comfort they find in it.

Dagmar Renée Ritter

Her Majesty

I'm always impressed by monumental buildings like temples. I try to imagine the people who have built them, how they lived and more interesting the secret rituals which took place behind this old walls.

I love especially the stone figures like lions and gargoyles. They feed my fantasy. In this painting, I tried to create such a mystic atmosphere as I feel and see it in my mind. There is this beautiful mystic majesty, wearing a monumental crown on her head. Her hair turns into snakes that begin to move.
Her stony guards the lions, with the Egyptian head coverings have tail ends which also turn into snakes.

And it would be not surprising if, in the next moment, they get up and start to walk around their mistress. It is all up to your imagination.

The Insects Demon

Some scientists think that the only species which have the chance to survive an environmental catastrophe caused for example by an atomic bomb might be some insects. Because of their resistance, flexibility, short life cycle and their big population!

Guess who might throw the bomb? I don't think it is a mega fly! Isn't it more possible that a so-called intelligent species is the bomb thrower? And who will be the winner at the end? The self-proclaimed “crown of the creation“?

That´s the basis of the idea of my painting “ The Insects Demon“ Because They could be the crowned ruler in future!

Nightmare Mirror

At least since “Alice in Wonderland“ the idea of a secret world behind the mirror is a bewitching fantasy. Often people tell me that they are frightened by my paintings. That they look as if they could open like a magic mirror, which drags in the beholder into their creepy realm, or the creatures appear as if they have the witchcraft to come out to our world.

That is great and I always see it as a big compliment for me and my art!

But if people ask me whether I'm frightened by my own paintings, I feel always surprised. Although I've often heard it, I still can't believe the question. It's as if you would ask me whether I'm scared by my fingers or anything like that!

These pictures are a part of me, they come to my mind by day and night. And I must say the best ideas often come at night in the silence of darkness.

It's for me as it is for any other person. There are an outer social life and an inner very individual word. For example, it would irritate me if there were pink ruffles on a pink cushion in my private surroundings and nearly shock me if they would appear in my inner world and come to my paintings. So we can be thankful that everybody is different; that makes the word so colorful!
The “Nightmare Mirror“ is my interpretation of the land behind the mirror or what you could see when my pictures would come to life!

Religious Assimilation

“If you don't want to be my brother rooted in faith, then I will kill you in the name of the only true God, my God!“

This ideology was and is a shame for humanity, but it still exists in many religions all over the world. Left God away and it is also used by any fascist regime.

Extremism in its various definitions never died. This evil brainwashers hide behind the mask of traditional religions and also behind fascist, nationalistic uniforms. They acquire the right to suppress people with their own opinion and a critical mind.

Under the surface of an imaginary better society, the equal makers use frightened obeyers and brainwashed believers to build their mighty empire on their supporting spineless shoulders.

As an atheist, I'm open-minded for any region and ideology as long as it is not inhuman and forces people to follow it against their will or manipulates others in any way to support them.

This abuse of force to make people into tools of greed for power is so disgusting and frightening, that in my opinion, it can't be revealed often enough. Also, we artists have to stand up against this dangerous methods.

The Resurrection Of The Pharaoh And His Beloved

We all know the wonderful artworks which have been found in the graves of Pharaohs. These beautiful colors and the fine details of the masks and sarcophaguses, how impressive they are! Also, we know that they wanted to be mummified after death in order to save their body for the life on the other side. The heart was not only cut out together with the other organs to make the mummy more durable but also when it comes to the decision whether a Pharaoh was a good or evil person, the judgment of the underworld put the heart on a Libra. The weight showed the truth. So the smart Pharaoh traveled light.

All those legends inspired authors, filmmakers, and painters. Often there appears a wrinkled old guy, who thought he recognized his reborn beloved in a beautiful, now living woman? I thought this is a cliché a painter like me, should have picked up once in a lifetime. Just in case there is no chance to be reborn, or come to the netherworld!

Scorpion Witch

Since my teenage days, I was called a witch from time to time! Some people did it as a joke because of my red hair and dark clothes or the topics I deal with. But some label me that way because of my critical mind. A theologian once said to me, that a woman like me had been burned in former days, and there were no doubts that he wished back these good old days!

For me, such remarks are more a compliment than an insult because the so-called witches were often wise and well-educated women. The lived in harmony with nature, knew a lot about healing plants and had a critical intelligent mind.

Naturally, they lived outside the villages, where they could collect herbs. They lived from selling healing plants and giving good advice. But primitive people were afraid of all the things they didn't understand in their function. Also, in a time where the Catholic church ruled over so many countries, critical minds were dangerous for their position of power. Spreading rumors about men and women who are in league with the devil and have to be exterminated, was an easy propaganda method to suppress the obeying mass and make them to their helpers “in the name of the Lord“!

Later the Nazis adopted this method of rumor propaganda. And nowadays this trick is still alive in many variations all over the world!

So it comes that sometimes when I'm called a witch again, I can't resist the temptation to answer: “Imagine, that witchcraft may exist and I'm a real witch. Do you have any idea what I could to do you?!“ As a Quick response, I always get a wide opened mouth and big eyes! The picture these people might have in their minds at that moment may look like my painting of the “Scorpion Witch“, but that is naturally my loose interpretation of their looks!

The Beauty And The Beast

First I must say, as a big animal lover, the beauty in my paintings is without any discussion the lion! The role of the beast belongs as it is in reality to the human being.

I think the anthropocentrically idea of mankind is a typical misunderstanding of values! If humanity would really be the “crown of creation", how could it be, that it is so stupid to ruin life-giving mother earth and kill its own species at the end. Avarice will lead this planet into a complete breakdown.

Animals are tortured by men to earn money, making them obeying machines is cruel and not an honor for the warlord men. But this is only the feeling of being ashamed of belonging to this species sometimes.

The main idea of this picture was to design a Steampunk atmosphere. Building in this old-fashioned mechanical elements into the composition. Here, the woman and the lion live in a friendly and harmonious relationship in a science fiction environment, with strange flying ships in front of their window.

It shows the inner peace and harmony, I always feel in the company of animals!

The Savage

“The Savage“ is more the angry response to mad ideas like prejudging a human being due to his provenance, skin color, and other unimportant things. This is a very primitive attitude in my opinion! I always see a living example of a savage when I hear someone spreading nationalist hate propaganda!

For me, it is also not a question of being so well-educated with one or more degrees. I've seen highly prestigious persons acting in most disgusting and primitive ways. So someone living under the simplest most primitive conditions in a little hut can be a highly cultivated man or woman, when it comes to the point of understanding life and respecting nature, animals and humanity, more so than a graduated person with a primitive mind can ever imagine!

My Painting is a portrait of all those savages on earth, going on to ruin nature, murdering in the name of an insane ideology, raping and acting in all those primitive ways!

The Worship of The Fallen Angel upon the Arrival at Hell

Some of my artworks come to my mind and will be painted immediately, and others have to mature in my imagination. This one took longer to be finished. I made many sketches and turned around the composition unless I was happy with it.

I think the roots of the basic idea can be followed back when I was fifteen years old and started an autodidactically study of painting and drawing. Visiting museums and seeing photos of that wonderful painted scenes of persons flying between clouds to god's heaven, inspired me.

But even in those early days, it was clear that for me, flying to paradise is not my kind of topic! So it has to go downwards to hell. And there can't be holy people and sweet little fat angels with two little wings, fluttering around on my scene. No, that is not the pace for nice guys on my flight or better-said fall to hell.

So many years later and many pictures later “The Worship of The Fallen Angel upon the Arrival at Hell“ came to life!

Grim Reaper:“ You Are The Next!“

Sorry for the title of the picture, but I couldn't resist the temptation to see the faces of some beholders. But it was business as usual! The Dark Art fans loved the painting and the title and these persons who prefer the nice and bright fine arts were shocked enough by the Grim Reaper, that they didn't come as far as to read the title.

Basically, when I have a new idea for a painting, I think about it, if it is good enough to work on it, or if there is something missing that makes the picture interesting. I never do an artwork in order just to shock people. That´s normally a more or less funny side effect. With less, I mean it became boring over the years, to be able to predict the reactions of most of the beholders. The idea of what a person may think by watching my artwork comes always during the work process.

I was always fascinated by the personification of death. In my childhood, I had a book with legends of old Vienna. I especially loved these stories about death and devil. Also, the artistic illustration in it inspired me and I wished I could paint like that to bring the ideas in my mind to life! So maybe I have the excuse of having inherited the famous Viennese black humor from my ancestors from my hometown?!


When it gets close to Halloween, honestly said, my time of the year, the question appears:“ Shall I do a Halloween picture this year and which topic will it deal with?!“ I might stop writing here because you see the answers in the painting of the “Scarecrow“!

But let me turn back time when I was searching for the concrete composition. I decided to make the Scarecrow the main point of interest. Do you want to know how I exactly did it?

Imagine you are alone at night on a corn field. There’s silence around you so you can hear the mice laugh at you when you scream, shocked by a sudden noisy flying up crow beside you. The pale moonshine is just bright enough to show you the silhouette of a Scarecrow in its rags, hanging on a rotten wood cross. From one moment to the other, the wind is getting up and shakes the creepy scarecrow as if it would come to life! Can you see this in front of your inner eye? Yes? OK, you got it, paint it, that's it!

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