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Name   : PHILHELM Philhelm
Location: STRASBOURG  
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B101 - THE TREE OF LIFE IN HIS BABYLONIAN GARDEN - 2008 / Painting Acrylic / 125 x 190 cm - 49,2 x 74,8 inches / 15.330 USD

Description: BABYLONIAN / Mesopotamia has always been considered as the original heaven with its tree of life and its marvellous animals, and this, in a world where the human had yet to appear. Therefore are we renouncing at the representation of the first couple and the snake lying at the foot of tree of temptation? Indeed, before being the Garden of Eden in the bible, it was already present at every era since the 4th millennium in Mesopotamia. Nevertheless the tree of life, plentiful of fruits, blessing of god, was also present as an artificial form of gold and bronze, mostly located in the numerous Palace courts of Assyrian kings. It was the symbol of immortality and was often represented between two prayers or priests leading contemplation to adoration. We will find it again on other paintings of Philhelm. The sea with its fish is there to remind us that for Mesopotamians the human being came from the sea. The lion, king of animals is the only one watching us, he was the incarnation of cosmic forces. Only kings had the right to hunt them, even exterminate them if we're looking at the actual low-reliefs. Regarding the ostrich, it disappeared definitely from this region in 1941. Tree of life : "Yahweh planted a garden eastward in Eden and there he placed the man that he formed. And out of the ground had Yahweh grow every tree pleasant to the eye, and good for food. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was divided, and became the spring of four rivers: the name of the first river is Pischon,. the name of the second is Guihon,. the name of the third is Hiddékel, which flows toward the east of Assyria, and the fourth river is Euphrates. (Genèse, II, 8-14.)

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In actual fact, I want to tell you without misrepresentation, the whole story of Philhelm, which begins in Alsace (It was still a Germanic country and will become French only in 1678!) in the castle of Lichtenberg, on April 23rd 1616, when the seven-year-old Balthasar Helmlinger, loses the Monogram of his eponymy descendant. This ordinary but nevertheless very serious incident in the distant past will set in motion the artistic calling of one of his descendants, ten generations later! This contemporary painter, born in Strasbourg in 1943, has only exhibited his work twice in his life (1999 and 2001) and only at the "International Biennial Event of Contemporary Art of Florence" which awarded him in 1999 the Prize of the City of Florence. So that the ordinary people be completely disorientated, so that it will let the story of the past enter him torpidly, by going back the furthermost possible or else it will never pierce the heart of his paintings, to seek there the secret causes of things.
Philhelm declines the colors in a correspondence with the images and original writings to a small history of the past, in wich his monogram was always present as an archetype. This revival for a few years, he has tried to reveal it because the Gods came one day to its meeting ! They deigned to present him their messengers like a hero accompanied with their sphinges : Let them forgive him, if he dares to quote them in the enjoyement of his heart, even if he put no bad shame to ask them for grace. If he tries to make reappear by its legends, some bits of a lost knowledge, and really immortal and sacred, he owes it only with work of fort many archaeologists and historians. He makes no vanity of his work. If he had his whole life, believe not produce anything good and beautiful, he feels no less real joy and deep taste that he recognizes and admires beautiful and great at others, had they been Etruscan, Cretan, Assyrian or Sumerian ?

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