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 Gods of the Arts?
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

572 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  20:26:41  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
'Keepers,

While doing some research I went over the 2E and 3E god books but could't find a divine patron of arts in general (Sune could fit but she is more about the enjoing the final outcome than the whole process of creating art).
Where this void is filled for music/song (Milil, Oghma), poetry/literature (Deneir, Oghma) and dance (Lliira) it is NOT for painters, sculptors and architects (and I'm already straining in fitting actors under the protection of Oghma).

While there are a bunch of gods that probably can step in from time to time (Sune as already stated, Lathander, Tymora, Oghma, Gond) I find the lack of a proper and dedicated patron deity troublesome.
Did I overlook any source? Any "canon"/historical record of such deities?

I appreciate eventual convoluted answers but, for the sake of equality among the Arts, I would like to find a proper deity for each and hope I have missed something.

[Looking at racial/regional deities there is Moradin with "stonework" covering sculpting and architecture and the elves have a couple of patrons of Arts (Corellon, that beside "arts" has separate "music" and "poetry" portfolios, and Hanali Celanil with "magic item artistry" and "fine art")]

Lord Karsus
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USA
3158 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  21:30:34  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-"Arts" are so varied that that's why there are deities for specific disciplines.

-Lathander (renewal and creativity) and Finder Wyvernspur (continued evolution of art) would be the best catchalls, I think.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6607 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  23:33:22  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sune is concerned with aesthetics, beauty and elegance of form. Her worshippers might prefer performance arts like acting and dancing because these can capture or express moments of striking beauty, yet part of what makes them unique and precious (in a world without recording technologies) is their ephemeral contexts. Somewhat different from Lliira's worshippers who dance for the pure joy of dancing itself.

Oghma is of course concerned with bards and knowledge and inspiration. Served by Milil (poetry, eloquence, musicians, song) and Deneir (literature, scribes, images, illustrations). They collectively encompass all manner of artistic narratives and artistic compositions. Stories, paintings, ballads, symphonies.

Gond Wondermaker is a god of inventors, artifice and artisans, craftsmanship. Any muscular idiot can pound away at an anvil to produce serviceable items, but only a creative and intelligent craftsman with passion can forge items which blend raw function with artistic form. Gond's worshippers might create works of sculpture or architecture. Or musical instruments. Or improved smokepowder devices.

Mystra is goddess of magic, spells, and the Weave. Once served by Azuth (spells and wizards) and Leira (illusions, deceptions, shadows). Remember that magic is called an art because it is not a science, magic users are in fact artists because each one has a distinct style and unique understanding of the Art, magic is alway fickle and unpredictable and personal, it's not a systematically uniform and consistently reproducible thing (for everyone) like the sciences and technologies we understand. Even a child can push a button to make things work in a world of science, but only a person with talent can manipulate Mystra's magic in the Realms.

And, as always, whatever it is you're trying to do, you can't go far wrong with a hopeful submission for Tymora's blessing.

But every deity will see "beauty" and "art" in things of interest. Amaunator/Lathander in a perfect sunrise. Tyr in a perfect legal decree. Tempus in a perfect army. Mask in a perfect crime.
So I think "art and artists" is too generic, deities in the Realms are more specific realizations of "applied arts", no single deity can really cover the whole spectrum.

It might be appropriate/expected/prudent to invoke several deities when praying for inspiration ... if, say, painting a portrait of Mona Lisa, illustrating human anatomy, embossing heraldic glyphs onto a sword, carving gargoyle statues, or producing stained glass scenes for a cathedral.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 29 Jan 2018 00:00:42
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  02:16:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Page 149 of Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms:

quote:
The Morninglord stands for new beginnings and ideas, innovation and artistic expression, renewal and self-perfection, birth and fertility, creativity and vitality, youth and athleticism, and dawn and spring.


quote:
Scorn not old art in favor of the new, for all art is expression that stirs new thinking in those who work it and those who behold it.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6607 Posts

Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  02:52:58  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Morninglord seems tied with Mystra in claiming high score (after Ao). As in, gradually claiming more and more subcomponents of portfolios and domains which technically (properly) belong to other deities.

You might find this old scroll interesting. (Especially my findings on a "lost" Realms god named Drognard, although I admit he has little to do with the arts.)

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 29 Jan 2018 03:02:47
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  05:24:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

The Morninglord seems tied with Mystra in claiming high score (after Ao). As in, gradually claiming more and more subcomponents of portfolios and domains which technically (properly) belong to other deities.

You might find this old scroll interesting. (Especially my findings on a "lost" Realms god named Drognard, although I admit he has little to do with the arts.)



I wouldn't say he's grabbing art as a portfolio, as much as he is embracing the expression of art -- he cares about its impact on others, and how it might lead them to something new (and not necessarily artistic).

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Demzer
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  21:25:26  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good points raised but I still feel uncomfortable by the absence of direct patrons for painting and sculpting. After all, Sune would bestow her blessings on every work of art (a painting, a song, a dance routine), same goes for Lathander with new endeavors (be they art or quests) and Tymora.

So I'm puzzled as to why we have got multiple gods directly tied to song and music and bards and nobody tied to painting ... I mean (demi)humans should've started painting and scratching surfaces about the same time they started "playing" instruments besides their bodies and voices so ... whatever, maybe it's just me
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  22:38:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Good points raised but I still feel uncomfortable by the absence of direct patrons for painting and sculpting. After all, Sune would bestow her blessings on every work of art (a painting, a song, a dance routine), same goes for Lathander with new endeavors (be they art or quests) and Tymora.

So I'm puzzled as to why we have got multiple gods directly tied to song and music and bards and nobody tied to painting ... I mean (demi)humans should've started painting and scratching surfaces about the same time they started "playing" instruments besides their bodies and voices so ... whatever, maybe it's just me



Perhaps it's because vocal arts are just way more prominent. Songs generally don't take long to write, and they can spread and be shared in a way that paintings can't be shared, short of more advanced publishing techniques.

A painting pretty much has to stay in one place, not many people at once will be able to view it, and it can only be seen by those in a direct line of sight to it. But take a handful or so of traveling bards, and a large portion of Faerūn will have heard a new song within a season or two of its creation.

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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  23:21:51  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Songs and acting and stories and dances are performance-based. The art doesn't actually have any form or existence until and unless an artist is actively creating them. It's basically "living" art, and it ceases to be when the performance ends. Perhaps so many gods are involved in different aspects of these arts because they actually experience them vicariously through audience perceptions.

Sculptures and paintings are substance-based. The art has a constant form, it's not even properly art at all until the artist has "finished" creating it and moved on. It's essentially inanimate (even if it's some kind of display which involves moving elements) and basically a passive demonstration of the artist's talents. Perhaps relatively few gods are involved in these expressions of art because the focus is more on the artist and the construct than on the audience's response to them.

An artist might be suffused with a warm radiance while the Morninglord inspires him - for a short while - but that inspiration evaporates into realization when the art is actually made, and "finished" art no longer holds much interest for this god while "living" art can produce ongoing inspiration. So, too, with the involvement of other "art" gods, which might explain why they seem less interested in stuff like paintings and sculptures.

Magic in this context is not actually an "art" in itself so much as another tool, instrument, or medium in which to create the art. An illusion draws from the illusionist's imagination, but once the spell duration ends so does the art show - unless it's a "permanent" or "programmed" illusion, continuing to sustain itself through magic yet remaining unchanged from how it was originally drawn and cast. While enchanted items, magical tapestries, even constructs like golems are all lasting "works" of art but are not themselves intrinsic art, it's almost like comparing a spontaneous live performance with a staged or recorded performance (no matter how varied and interactive it may be).
If this context applies to art through spellcraft then it would also apply to art through smithcraft. Inspiration from certain deities might be invoked during the creation, but it is typically more concerned with the technical merits of the craft than the aesthetic merits of the creation. We all recognize beauty when form and function are perfectly merged, but crafted things cannot sacrifice any of their function if they're expected to work properly so form is where the upper limits of craftsmanship are measured and any compromises or tradeoffs must be made (assuming all the controllable things like materials, ingredients, tools, and conditions are optimized).

Living constructs like Alias the magical automaton (or Lieutenant Commander Data the positronic android) are a difficult thing to assess in terms of "art". They're impossibly rare, each one is essentially unique - the products of things like supra-genius inspiration, lifetimes of effort, massive resources, sometimes even divine (or alien) intervention. Note that Alias and Data both generated a variety of responses from their (art) critics, lol.

I suspect things came to be described this way because the gods of Realmslore were written for a fantasy role-playing game, not for a realistic historical simulation. A game based around players acting the parts of their characters and using all manner of talents to perform, entertain, and interact with each other.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 30 Jan 2018 00:01:59
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1248 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2018 :  12:44:28  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I adore sprinkling art objects into my treasure hoards, and make use of the excellent Art objects in Faerun post of SaMoCon. Check it out and you'll see he did a great job of showing how aesthetics can make things interesting and lore friendly!

I think the lack of a patron dedicated for painting can be explained by the state and status of painted arts in Faerun. The most dominant form of painting would be religious mural, stucco, fresco and panel painting (similar to 13th century romanesque art, think Giotto up to Michelangelo), with an upcoming trend of easel painting for (royal and courtly) portraits (similar to rococo art, like Vermeer up to Degas).

The most widespread pigments used (egg tempera most likely) are rare alchemical formulae (making them expensive), crude (require tough surfaces to apply) and impermanent (require retouches every decade or so to prevent darkening, flaking or cracking). This makes painted art in my realms mainly the domain of the super wealthy; i.e. aristocracy and clergies operating in wealthy states along trade routes where opulence can extend their apparent influence. More permanent but rare oil paints protected in varnishes could be a Zakharan technique that only recently reached Faerunian human use, making it a technological advance not on the radar of most small religious organisations except those that operate in super wealthy city states with ties to the Land of Fate (Waterdeep, Calimshan and perhaps Amn).

So with the ties to the innovation and the state of the art in flux, the suggestions of patrons of the painted arts Finder Wyvernspr and Lathander are quite likely the best to run with. Finder would represent the change in taste required from symbolism to realism /naturalism amongst the wealthy for painters to become a genuine profession. Lathander would be invoked by painters when musing on what next to capture in a painted work and his clergy would be sponsors of their endeavors most often.

Also Sune and Hanali would be held in high regard by the new upcoming portrait painters, as they would love to permanently capture some of their divine beauty on linen in a rococo style (as naked as possible!). Perhaps some clergy members would find trying to capture a divine glimpse into a painting highly offensive, and would be against spreading such blashemy.

Corellon would be most of interest to classical romanesque and chinese style painters, who try to be true to a scene in landscape and lighting (those classic paradise/garden/valley pictures). But he would be invoked by architects, singers, poets and painters alike.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2018 :  08:06:50  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Everyone knows the God of Art is Bahbross.

He has the ability to make anything 'happy', even a little tree.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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