The Death of a Hero was inspired by the Gulf War. At the beginning of the war, Thursday, January 17, 1991, Richard and his student Alexander Moghadam had a drawing session at his studio and the basic conception was formulated in pastel on paper about 48 X 60 inches (lost). I later suggested that the Satyrus Group use this drawing as a starting point for the development of the present composition. The idea here was to create a detached narrative that focuses on the reaction to the death of the seeker in his trip through the labyrinth of life, symbolized by the staff held by the bandaged man. The bird on the staff represents the flight of spirit. The figures and decorative details were loosely derived from various ancient cultures. The imagery does not criticize either side in the war, but looks at the psychology of death in war as represented in ancient mythologies through the development of ‘hero characters’ and ‘hero worship‘.