Every species makes visual art. Well, now that I am dating a teratologist, I should say, every prime species makes visual art. There's sure to be a blind species of intelligent chimera of spotted muskellunge and ringtail possum or something that can't see and whose main artistic outlet is poetry or or something. Cani, of course, also do scent-sculptures, where they dot things with intricate bits of just the right scent, and then whomp on it with a Sustenoc spell so that its scent never changes, ever. Sleeth could do that too, I guess, but they're more of an exception to the 'every species makes visual art' rule than I was thinking of at the start of this paragraph. They sometimes do, though.
Zornatic art isn't that. It's art made using the subtle traces that magic leaves behind, also with a preservation spell. So most people can't really perceive it at all, unless they took the longer and heavier Magic Analysis course in highschool or some such. I did -- anyone who wants to be any sort of professional mage would have done -- but it's not the sort of thing that your typical farmer or wheelwright or printer would likely want to bother with. Jinthinia hadn't studied that much. Most Vheshrame students probably have, ones in the sciences especially.
Anyways, we saw pieces like Zizar's Yade Pursued by the Hunting Horn. Physically, it's an open box with an ivory ring and a little pillow suspended in the middle by strings. Magically, the pillow has been subjected to dozens of assorted Ruloc spells, mostly stout barleyish ones, and a few little round astringent Healoc ones. The ring has been zapped with lots of jagged coriander-and-white Destroc and Ruloc spells, in a sort of cone behind it; that's the Hunting Horn of course.
Mynthë and I couldn't decide whether it was elegant or just interesting. Or strange. Or an exercise in devoted impracticality ... someone wasted a lot of cley on a pile of very silly, minor spells. One wonders what the relevant gods thought of it -- "Oh, my, Yasmir wants that pillow moved a quarter-inch to the right again, from a slightly different angle than before."
Mynthë's favorite was the portrait of Duke Marthengo (father of the current Duke) done entirely in Ruloc and Destroc Magiador spells. There's some subtle political commentary there, I think. Duke Marthengo lost a big war with the wizards of Oorah Thrassen (hence: Magiador) and their Braxeian Gormoror mercenaries (hence: Ruloc and Destroc). Mynthë and I talked a long time about the meaning of making a portrait of a duke using the signifiers of his thwarters. It's a definite happiness to go on a date with someone you can have that sort of conversation with, even if neither of us really understands art very well and we didn't get to any excellent answer.
That was only four rooms in the special exhibit, so we wandered around in the classical section, and saw this and that. And got to boast about my famous grandparent a bit, when we saw a frieze of Glikkonen and Halamoon driving the monsters away from Tauvane. Not that Mynthë is as impressed with Glikkonen as a magic student would be, but of course zie's heard of zir.
Mynthë:"So you can just go drop in on Glikkonen whenever you want?"
Me:"Well, any year I want, I suppose. I've never actually been to Drchmaer, or Querly even. Zie sometimes comes and visits me. Zemi really -- Hezimikkinen, that is -- or Eitharheinen. But I'll get some time with zir too."
Mynthë:"Any amazing presents?"
Me:"Oh! Yes! The Eye of Mirizan and Melizan!"
Mynthë:"What's that? Sounds like some horrible mind-reading thing."
Me:"No, no. It's a magic analysis tool. I've got it here in my saddlebag -- we should go look at the Neo-Zornatics with it!"
So we did. Naturally you can see a lot more detail through the Eye than just by plain magic sense. Yade doesn't come off so well. The Ruloc spells that seem to touch to the naked magic sense have distinct gaps between them through the Eye. So the poor gentleman is sort of falling apart. Which is probably nicer than what the Horn will do to him in a few minutes, of course.
Mynthë looked pretty impressed that (a) I had a substantial artifact in my saddlebag, and (b) I let zir use it. Prince Nestrune would probably tell me that that's worth nineteen fine fucks a year on average, if I used it right.
I wonder how much more I'd get if I showed off the seven-winged burning thing too?
(Anyways: when I get to the end of the day, yes, I'll tell what we actually did.)