After being locked up for several months, I decided to decorate my door with miniature monsters from medieval times. Somehow, along the way, it became a medieval map full of symbolism, some carefully planted Easter eggs, and overall a filled canvas with various references that can leave one more than just curious.
The monsters that filled this door canvas are not only from Europe, but also from other continents too. Therefore, that’s why it took me a while to fill in the map as I took a lot of references from various cultures from around the world.
It all started on an ordinary day of the quarantine, and like most of the days, this one too was filled with a lot of boredom and a still clean door.
So I looked up some sea monsters and drew them. When I realized they looked lonely, I sketched a complete map.
To give it an antique map style, I decided to frame it. The empty spaces were filled with my ideas.
The point was to illustrate as many medieval monsters and supernatural characters as possible, not only from Europe, but also from all over the world.
The result was a map full of symbols, hidden things, and other additional details.
The 13 kingdoms
In total, there were 13 kingdoms representing the different parts of the world. Each one had its valleys, forests, or cities. The names also came from real myths.
One could say they are mythological, unusual, or non-existent sites in which people believed at some point. At the center of the map is the Axis Mundi that was believed to be the center of the earth and the earthly paradise.
The seas and islands are also real ghost islands from old-world maps. Every monster on the map was actually described as real at some point during medieval times.
The geography of places is also related to the world. There are weeping willows, pine and palm trees, oaks, mountains, cliffs, deserts, lakes, swamps, mangroves, and of course, the fountain of eternal youth.
There are miniatures scattered on the map that represent non-existent plants and trees such as the Mandrake or the Wak Wak. These also have their special place on the map. Some of them come from the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript.
Wrapped in a vine, I placed all the arcana of the tarot (a game typical of the medieval world) and among them are the different signs of the zodiac.
Above the door are the Celtic runes on different shields.
And there is a miniature near the city of Scholomance that represents all the secret societies that existed in medieval times.
Around the knob, the decoration conceals more than 25 symbols used by alchemists. All are ordered as is and as dictated by the formulas to convert metals into gold.
The secrets of the frame
Perhaps the place with the most hidden things is the frame. Animals are typical of the 4 elements (previously, it was believed that chameleons lived in the air.) In the circles are the 5 Chinese elements of Feng Shui.
Among the creepers, the 10 points of the Jewish Kabbalah are hidden written in Hebrew.
There are even the symbols of IChing, ancient symbols of good luck and various medicinal flowers.
At the end of the map and the whole journey I had while making it, I decided to baptize it as the “continent of Porta.”
In total, it took me 3 months to complete it, working day and night almost every day.
Mapa del Continente de Porta (Porta Continent Map MMXX)
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