The Crowley Paintings In Abbey Of Thelema

The Crowley Paintings In Abbey Of Thelema Cover
The art on the walls was bold and garish. Although maligned at the time, Crowley's paintings have recently been held up as ahead of its day. One reason for this appears to be his lack of ego in connection with the work. When criticised, he once replied with a shrug, “I grasp the essence." This is rather different from his overblown attitude towards the rest of his work, especially his poetry. He once declared, "I am the world's greatest living poet." The bright colours which the work emanates is probably due to the fact that he was sniffing ethyl oxide, which was previously used as an anesthetic. Inhalation causes colours to brighten and visions can occur if it is taken in excess. This lends a strong psychedelic fell to the paintings. The majority of the work which is steeped in occult symbolism centres around his bedroom and was designed to induce nightmares. The pornographic element, including humans copulating with goats and dogs, was (oddly) to promote a healthy attitude towards sex amidst the straight-jacket values of the Victorian era when it was believed that sex was evil and masturbation caused mental illness.

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