Thespian Thursday: Recent Richard Armitage Portraits are Awe Inspiring, August 28, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #625)

In the last week or so, I have come across several awe inspiring Richard Armitage portraits and news shared by others that have stilled my heart and breath due to their beauty and graciousness. I will keep it to three images.

1) And in one stunning portrait of the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armit2014--RichardArmitage-asJohnProctor-TheCrucible-byJayBrooks_Aug2714anglophilechannel-sized-biggerage (right) now appearing as John Proctor in The Crucible at the Old Vic through September 13th photographed by Jay Brooks, I was glad that my rescue inhaler is nearby. Seriously. I literally stopped breathing for several seconds when I first saw this portrait. *THUD*

But seriously, I tried to pinpoint what drew me in about this image of a bare chested Richard Armitage–when we don’t really get to see his chest (but we know what it looks like from other characters where he has doffed his shirt). And several descriptive words sprang to mind: evocative (he’s bare, *THUD*), raw (he’s bare), powerful (all of his muscles), secretive (turned slightly away from us), vulnerable (shielding his body with his arms), disbelief, degradation (his character John Proctor is imprisoned, which might account for him appearing dirty), alien (his fingers draped awkwardly over his head and partially covering his ear), resignation (his accusative stare/gaze), explosive (the muscles again with the broad back and a hint of his sturdy torso), posed (in an unnatural self comforting embrace), sinister, dignified (only upper torso, no nips), etc.

But given Proctor’s fate, this Armitage as Proctor portrait image also jarred a memory within me– harkening back to 7th grade art class and 220px-Dying_slave_Louvre_MR_1590-by Michaelangelo-viaWiki-crop-sizedlater my wanderings in art museums. Not only does this Armitage as Proctor body pose seem classical (see Michaelangelo’s Dying Slave at left), but the darkened makeup helps to further define Richard Armitage’s features–with the interplay of light and shadow upon him seemingly reminiscent of El Greco to me due to the dark quality of the image’s lighting, and with the dirty skin being quite a contrast from his other pale complexioned portraits where he is bare chested.

2)  Richard Armitage’s portrait as Proctor again (right), also photographed by Jay Brooks. 2014--RichardArmitage-asJohnProctor-incoat-TheCrucible-byJayBrooks_Aug2714anglophilechannelThe hair and coat textures were what I noticed first–with the coat on close up seeming to be a sheep fur, classic. And Mr. Armitage’s hair and beard are perfectly coiffed–not haphazard and almost wild as they seemed to be from some of the production stills. Yet the extra space ProjectMag2011-07RichardArmitageinShearlingCoatAug2714ranetabove his head seems to make him appear smaller/shorter. Or is it that the accusations Proctor faces beat him down from the tall and proud man he was before them? And, of course, the averting gaze and body pose made me think of a similar July 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot (image left).

  • Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the MountainThorin (right on Fortesque’s tumblr via Thorin of Erebor and Robin T. Thanks!), is in the building–as he is rebuilding his Thorin-contemplative_Aug2714Fortesque-tumblr_na39mfqiaw1ql524yo1_500people’s futures. But when I see Thorin here, I see a man for whom legions would follow him–and I’m not merely talking into battle. Ha! The touseled hair, the elongated nose, the piercing blue eyes and the long wavy hair all lend an other worldly–or Middle Earthly–Heartthrob ambience to him.   In this slightly contemplative Richard Armitage as Thorin, what do we guess about his emotional state? I, for one, am smitten by Thorin even being allowed to look handsome in this portrait here–not ferocious, but still passionate, quite like this John Thornton portrait (left). And for a mNorth&Southepi3-172-RichardArmitage-asJohnThornton_Aub2814ranet-sized-brtan to wait and plan nearly 175 years to seize the briefest moment of opportunity to “reclaim his homeland” betokens a man with passion, patience, and perseverance.


Whereas Proctor’s portraits above and elsewhere are full of righteous fury, this Thorin portrait is reflective, handsome, and charming. Though charming is not a descriptor typically associated with the character of Thorin, it is with the man who plays him, Richard Armitage.


And Richard Armitage and his wonderful storytelling make me smile on a regular basis. And these Richard Armitage role character images above are somehow different for me–visceral–and touching me so deeply that I was surprised by my reaction to them. Mr. Armitage’s roles are usually so complex and intense, I can only hope that he might attempt a little light hearted romantic comedy fare at some point–allowing his character to: live, get the girl, become a parent, and live happily ever after. Sighhhh!

In the meantime–as we await the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in December–I will enjoy these and other images old and new that are released about Richard Armitage.




About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
This entry was posted in Beauty, Fangurling, John Proctor, John Thornton, Middle Earth, movies, North & South, The Hobbit, Thorin and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Thespian Thursday: Recent Richard Armitage Portraits are Awe Inspiring, August 28, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #625)

  1. Wendy Butler says:

    My goodness this is so well written. Much food for thought. The more I looked at the torso photos the more convinced I became of the classical genre, I would never have your insight tho. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Wendy,
      I’m glad that you enjoyed my little essay. Thanks for your very kind note! I appreciate it.
      And kudos again to the photographer Jay Brooks and to his subject Richard Armitage as John Procter for these stunning portraits.
      Cheers! Grati ;->


  2. August 28, 2014 and February 25, 2015–Thanks for liking this post!

    Lady Butterfly and april73


  3. August 28, 2014–Thanks to Fernanda Matais for tweeting the sound cloud clip of Richard Hammarton’s beautifully evocative opening music for The Crucible:

    I had wanted to include it in my post when I was building it, but I was too tired last night to find my bookmark link. Thanks for reading my mind, Fernanda! Hugs!


  4. Nov.13, 2014–And here is Obscura’s post at her Ancient Armitage blog where she ruminates about sculpture and RA:


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