full moon Picture

oil on wood 100 cm x 70 cm


An elf (plural elves) is a being of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine or semi-divine beings (wights, vættir) endowed with magical powers, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind. In pre-Christian mythology, they appear to have been divided into light elves and dark elves, difficult to delineate from the Æsir (gods) on one hand and the dvergar (dwarves) on the other.

In early modern and modern folklore, they become associated with the fairies of the 19-century Romantic portrayal of English folklore and assume a diminutive size, often living underground in hills or rocks, or in wells and springs. 19th-century Romanticism attempted to restore them to full stature, often depicting them as very young, probably adolescent (lack of facial hair on male elves), men and women of great beauty. From their depiction in Romanticism, elves entered the 20th-century high fantasy genre in the wake of the publications of J. R. R. Tolkien, especially the posthumous publication of his Silmarillion where Tolkien's treatment of the relation of light elves, dark elves, black elves and dwarves in Norse mythology is made explicit.
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