Edwin Austin Abbey: The Quest for the Holy Grail, Part 5 - King Amfortas and the castle of the Grail lie under a spell (1895)

(Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Part 5 of the quest for the Holy Grail. After setting out Galahad finds the domain Castle of the Grail. The lord of the castle - Amfortas, Fisher King and king of the Grail kingdom was charged with keeping the Holy Grail. Amfortas however was wounded by his own Holy Spear before for taking up arms in the cause of unlawful love. The wound of the king does not heal and the king and the land and all inhabitants  have fallen under a spell - the land has become barren and wars and sickness ravages the land. The spell can only be lifted until the most blameless knight comes to the castle. This blameless knight how ever must ask 'The Question' in order to heal king Amfortas. Galahad arrives at the castle and sees the wounded king. A procession passes before Galahad: the bearer of the Grail, the damsel with the Golden Dish (the plate with the head of John the Baptist), the two knights with the Seven-branched Candle-stick, and the knight holding aloft the Bleeding Spear - the spear of Longinus which pierced Christ when he was hanging at the cross. Galahad remains silent and does not ask 'The Question' - he fails because he is not ready yet. Painting from 1895.

Part 1: The child Galahad
Part 2: Sir Lancelot and Sir Bors outfit Galahad with his spurs
Part 3: The Arthurian Round Table and the fable of the Seat Perilous
Part 4: The knights of the Round Table set forth on the search for the Holy Grail
Part 5: King Amfortas and the castle of the Grail lie under a spell
Part 6: Sir Galahad contemplates his quest
Part 7: The 7 Knights of Darkness
Part 8: Sir Galahad receives the key to the Castle of Maidens
Part 9: The Castle of Maidens
Part 10: Galahad Parts From His Bride Blanchefleur
Part 11: The passing of King Amfortas
Part 12: Sir Galahad passes from the land
Part 13: Sir Galahad crosses the seas in Solomon's ship
Part 14: The city of Sarras
Part 15: The Golden Tree