Sometimes you see a face, a person, an animal, a bird, whatever. It doesn’t matter exactly what it is; it just stands out from the crowd.
Commanding attention, it rates more than a second look and has a quality or qualities which can’t be ignored. And whatever that is, it may prove difficult to put a name to.
So it is with this statue I saw in the Austrian town of Tulln. He is part of a larger group of figures depicting one of the stories from the German legend of the Neiblungen.
The statues dominate an impressive water feature, and tell the tale of an important meeting. There are many sculpted characters involved, even one of a rat. Here I quote from the official Tulln website:
The Monument to the Nibelungs or Nibelung Fountain is dedicated to a scene from the great medieval German epos: the meeting of Kriemhild, Queen of Burgundy, and Etzel, King of the Huns, in Tulln. It is depicted in a set of bronze sculptures by sculpture Michail Nogin.
The reception of Kriemhild as bride by Etzel her soon-to-be husband in Tulln was peaceful and festive. Today it is considered symbolic of the cultural encounter between Occident and Orient, between West and East.
I’m not sure who this character is – possibly Bleda, brother of Attila – but this statue of him has plenty of stand-out quality. He’s striking, proud, fearless, perceptive, ruthless, commanding – the sort of person you’d want on your side if you were in trouble, and definitely not someone to cross.