What is Best in Life?

The title of this post was the central question of one of the great action films of yesteryear, the year in particular being 1982. The movie was Conan. The artist who inspired its visuals was the legendary Boris Vallejo, one of whose pieces would later going on to be the basis of a popular subgenre of Nobilified's portraits on canvas. That central question "What is best in Life?" came from one of its most famous scenes. And as it happens, it also speaks to a key part of the Nobilified vision.

In that scene from Conan, the title character has come out from his lost homeland of Cimmeria by a long series of misadventures and brutal twists of fortune, and arrived as a "great prize" in the courts of the Far East, there to learn the deepest secrets of their "war masters." Among a people who seem a lot like the Mongols, Conan finds himself at the court of a great warlord who seems a lot like Genghis Khan.

That warlord says, "My greatest fear is that my sons will never understand me." And to prove a point, with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Conan looking on, he throws out a query to his princes. "What is best in life?"

One of the princes replies: "A fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair."

"Wrong!" shouts the exasperated warlord, and turns elsewhere. "Conan! What is best in life?"

"To crush your enemies," Conan says in a voice like iron: "See them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their [kin]."

This draws thunderous approval from the warlord and his court, and the sentiment is the core of Conan as a film, just as it is of Boris Vallejo's work. But we should understand that it's not really a quote about killing people. It is about something much more basic: feeling Epic.

The Conan stories, and the of Boris Vallejo, were art born of modern times, and particularly of yearnings that modern life often seems to stifle. They were about meeting great challenges, taking mortal risks, performing feats worthy of ancient heroes -- all the sorts of things that life as, say, a bank manager or a sales professional doesn't necessarily allow a lot of scope for.

We can hardly hope to go raging across battlefields in our daily lives, and let's be honest, most of us wouldn't want to. Modern, stable societies are a far greater achievement than hurling a spear or swinging a sword at someone. But that fantasy of heroism can still inspire us. It can still drive us to achieve and be our best selves. It can still help us feel Epic.

This is one of the biggest reasons that a Boris Vallejo painting, Hercules and Cerberus, is one of our clients' favourite choices for the transformation of photos into oil paintings. What could be more epic than one of the most famous heroes of civilization doing battle with the three-headed hound that keeps the gates of Hades itself? Well, how about a world in which you can take a selfie, pay an affordable fee to Nobilified, and cast yourself in the role of that very hero with the aid of our professional portrait artists?

Turning your pictures into paintings, transforming your everday life into the Epic and enabling you to bring it home to hang on your walls as top-notch, fun-loving art: this is was Nobilified is all about. We are, truly, about what is best in life. Let us create your most epic painting from a photograph today, and we're sure you'll agree.