MOST OF THE PAINTINGS ON THIS PAGE were produced for no commercial reason but were simply Bruce Pennington exercising his talents for his own satisfaction, starting with The Barley Tower on the left which dates from 1967. Click on it for more.
The large equestrian painting on the right has had a multitude of titles but probably the most telling is Ghost Rider. Painted in the early 1970s in acrylic, as well as gouache & ink, on board, it is approximately two metres in height and forms the showpiece of the Deane Collection in Brisbane, Australia, one of the largest collections of Pennington's work outside Britain. Click on it for enlargement.
It was later reproduced as a blank greetings card as well as appearing on the back of his own book Eschatus, both published by Dragon's World in 1977.
AN INTERESTING CHALLENGE for Pennington came along in 2010 when he was approached by another Bruce Pennington who had written an article about Pythagoras for Philosophy Now magazine. Would the artist be interested in doing a couple of illustrations? It so happened that he already had a portrait of Pythagoras drawn years earlier as one of a series of famous vegetarians. Interesting double coincidence. So he dusted it off and used the old drawing as a starting point for two new portraits of the philosopher as a young and old man. The illustrated article was published in the May 2010 issue of the magazine, as you can see below. The end credit reads: "Bruce Pennington, the author of this article, is a math teacher living in upstate New York. The portraits of Pythagoras are by another Bruce Pennington (unrelated!) who is a renowned sci fi illustrator living in Britain."
The significance of the bean in the portraits is that apparently Pythagoras' vegetarianism included a prohibition on eating beans, on the grounds that they were as much living creatures as animals. Some versions of his death tell that when pursued by an angry mob incited by his enemies he submitted to death rather than escape through a field of beans.