"Põhja konn" 60x80cm acrylic on canvas 2023
acrylic on canvas
1) the Estonian Embassy in Brussels, Belgium, 2023
2) the Estonian Literary Museum 2023-2024
The Dragon of the North (Estonian: Põhja konn, literally Frog of the North) is an Estonian fairy tale.
Kreutzwald depicts the Northern Frog as a gigantic creature that had the body of an ox, the legs of a frog, and the tail of a snake. The Northern Frog’s body was covered with scales stronger than stone and iron, its eyes shone brighter than candles.
The Northern Frog tried to destroy everything in its path and expelled fire and smoke from its mouth. His two big eyes shone, night and day, like the brightest candles, and whoever happened to see their light in an unfortunate way, was done. The surrounding kings promised an endlessly large salary to the man who could destroy the beast either through witchcraft or other powers. Therefore, several men had gone to try their luck, but all their efforts failed.
However, in Andrus Kivirähk’s novel “The Man Who Knew Snake Words”, Põhja Konn is a positive creature, at least for the main character. Põhja Konn once managed to destroy all hostiles, but during the time of the book, he sleeps eternally in a secret cave somewhere. The North Frog in Kivirähk’s book is eternal and indestructible, but also completely incapacitated due to sleep.
In this painting… he has been awoken