top of page

Surprised by Art: Indiana Jones And the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

On this show Luc Travers will surprise Kirk (and YOU!) with a painting and Kirk will surprise Luc with a poem based on a theme from the movie Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. That theme: "A Sense of Adventure."

Indiana Jones is one of the most beloved characters in cinema and in popular culture. On this episode Luc and Kirk will share classic art that will help you to appreciate and enjoy this movie more than ever before. Become an adventure seeker in your everyday life and enjoy this episode of Surprised by Art W/Luc & Kirk!


Below is the painting chosen by Luc Travers. We recommend that you take a moment and look at the painting for yourself.

Give it a title. Doesn't matter if you are correct. Just think, what is the first word that comes to mind first?

Then, give a literal description of everything in the painting.

In the show, we have various audience members doing exactly this, and if you listen to them this can help give you ideas on how to accomplish this investigation.

Lastly, interpretation. You can do your best on your own or listen to Luc and Kirk's exploration.


The River of Light, by Frederic Edwin Church



The Boat Stealing Scene from the 1850 Prelude by William Wordsworth:

One summer evening (led by her) I found

A little boat tied to a willow tree

Within a rocky cove, its usual home.

Straight I unloosed her chain, and stepping in

Pushed from the shore. It was an act of stealth

And troubled pleasure, nor without the voice

Of mountain-echoes did my boat move on;

Leaving behind her still, on either side,

Small circles glittering idly in the moon,

Until they melted all into one track

Of sparkling light. But now, like one who rows,

Proud of his skill, to reach a chosen point

With an unswerving line, I fixed my view

Upon the summit of a craggy ridge,

The horizon’s utmost boundary; far above

Was nothing but the stars and the grey sky.

She was an elfin pinnace; lustily

I dipped my oars into the silent lake,

And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat

Went heaving through the water like a swan;

When, from behind that craggy steep till then

The horizon’s bound, a huge peak, black and huge,

As if with voluntary power instinct,

Upreared its head. I struck and struck again,

And growing still in stature the grim shape

Towered up between me and the stars, and still,

For so it seemed, with purpose of its own

And measured motion like a living thing,

Strode after me. With trembling oars I turned,

And through the silent water stole my way

Back to the covert of the willow tree;

There in her mooring-place I left my bark, –

And through the meadows homeward went, in grave

And serious mood; but after I had seen

That spectacle, for many days, my brain

Worked with a dim and undetermined sense

Of unknown modes of being; o’er my thoughts

There hung a darkness, call it solitude

Or blank desertion. No familiar shapes

Remained, no pleasant images of trees,

Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields;

But huge and mighty forms, that do not live

Like living men, moved slowly through the mind

By day, and were a trouble to my dreams.


Kirk’s Summary of the Action

Wordsworth recalls how one night in his youth nature led him to ‘borrow’ a boat and row out on a nearby lake. This act brought him a feeling of guilt and pleasure. He rows toward the center of the lake, relishing in his prowess as a steersman and the beauty of the surrounding landscape. As he looks upon the hill, behind it appeared an enormous black mountain. It seemed to uprear its head, breaking free of its station and then it strode after young Wordsworth. He rushes the boat back to its home near a willow tree and then runs home. Later, while contemplating this event, Wordsworth felt more alone and scared. Rather than a view of nature as a playhouse of fun, he sensed a lurking danger he had never known.



PayPal ButtonPayPal Button
bottom of page