This painting was prompted by the closing pages of Wagner’s great Ring cycle.
Brunnhilde orders a huge funeral pyre to be built by the river Rhine. Eventually she lights the fire, mounts her horse and rides into the fire to be consumed by the flames. The opera concludes with the glorious music of the Rhine overflowing its banks and extinguishing the blaze.
The first Wagner I heard was at primary school age. It was the introduction to Das Rheingold. I had never heard of Wagner, just loved the stuff. The horns and lower strings transport the listener to a magical world, rather like watching the time lapse growth and metamorphosis of some fabulous plant.