Shape of Things to Come
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The setting for this painting is a valley surrounded by mountainous peaks, receding into the distance. It is a place that Victor once saw in a vision.
The insects depicted are ones that usually stay on or close to the ground. Here, Victor shows them provided with hot air balloons to transport them aloft, thus offering them the opportunity to experience soaring in the sky like birds and butterflies.
On the left side of the painting, a stair made of books shows knowledge leading upward and onward. The stag beetle, in the foreground, is not quite to the first step of this upward pathway. However, the beetle is curious, and makes an initial motion toward ascending the first step.