Introduction à Idavöllr
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Iðavöllr refers to a place mentioned in the first poem of the Poetic Edda, a collection of poems in Old Norse that constitutes the most important source of knowledge on Scandinavian mythology.
According to Norse mythology, Odin settled in Iðavöllr, the center of the city of Ásgarðr. Here he built his palace – the Valhöll – where he reigned supreme, and his temple – Gladsheim – comprising twelve seats and a throne. Odin appointed the twelve Aesir to share his government. They set up forges, struck ore and made tools. Iðavöllr is the place where the hammers and anvils of the forges ring out, where battles between gods and giants are unleashed, where everyone prepares for the final judgment, a prophetic end of the world: the Ragnarök.
The piece is a series of five tableaux, each evoking a specific place or moment in Scandinavian mythology.
I. Niflheim represents the realm of darkness and mist, an icy world containing nine frozen rivers. Later, it became the home of the goddess Hel, daughter of Loki.
II. Muspelheim is the world of fire, the realm of the giant Surt, who must lead the sons of Muspell to attack the realm of the Aesir gods. Niflheim and Muspellheim are the universe’s two original locations. The meeting of the cold of Niflheim and the heat of Muspellheim above Ginnungagap is the origin of the appearance of the giant Ymir – father of all ice giants – and the birth of the world.
III. Ginnungagap is the name given to the vast chasm separating the worlds of Niflheim and Muspellheim.
IV. Ragnarök is the prophetic end of the world, with a series of events including three sunless winters followed by a great battle on the plain of Vígríd. Most of the deities, but also the giants and almost all of mankind, will die. A series of natural disasters will then see the world submerged by the waves and destroyed by flames.
V. Gimlé is the place protected from fire where good and virtuous men will live after Ragnarök.
|Dimensions||42 × 29,7 × 2 cm|