Kenneth Riley -Wings for the Spirit

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Kenneth Riley -Wings for the Spirit
Wings for the Spirit
Artist: Kenneth Riley
Date of Birth: 1919-2015
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 50 x 38 inches
Signed: Signed lower right/CA
Frame/Outer Dim: 49 x 61 x 3
A fallen warrior, spear at his side, shield shielding his face, lies at an acute angle at the bottom of Ken Riley’s Wings for the Spirit. He is the occasion for the painting, but not its subject. Above, an eagle spirit holds his hands out to the warrior’s spirit, spirit meeting spirit, to bear it to the moon (or is it the sun?) where a totemic eagle holds sway. Interestingly, the blue square that dominates the top right of the picture, with the luminous disc and flying eagle, when you see it beside the four birches at left, and the pale pastel orange between them, the whole almost looks like the flag of an Indian nation. The spirit bearer is, of course, a Native American version of the Norse shield maiden, a Valkyrie who takes the warrior’s soul to Valhalla.