Alien Covenant: Terrace with garden by Wayne Haag (Homage to Arnold Böcklin's Isle of the Dead)

leading from

a) The terrace garden by Wayne Haag that appears to be a homage to Arnold Böcklin's Isle of the Dead, and that artist's work, as we can know from the podcast interview at AVPGalaxy with Wayne Haag was a point of discussion with Ridley during the production.

Either side of the huge circular building in the Engineer's city are these terraces with trees

(image source at…/wayne-haag-shares-remarkabl…)

b) It shares enough with the third version of Isle of the Dead painting 1883

Isle of the Dead: Third version, 1883

c) A number of people might want to connect it with Giger's interest in Böcklin's Isle of the Dead, because of his painting that payed homage to the fifth version of Isle of the Dead, but there's also a wider appreciation for this symbolist painter than that so I'm not really connecting the two

See also HR Giger's Homage to Böcklin


  1. I am of an age but I know Bocklin's painting and I know Giger's homage yet I completely missed Ridley Scott's reference in Alien Covenant. Luckily for me, my savvy son did not!

  2. Hello! I've been thinking about this recently and it seems to me that Giger's derelict design was inspired by Bocklin's Isle of the dead, particularly the 1883 version. If you look at Giger's plan view of the derelict, and imagine how the Isle would look from above, the sweeping curve of the cliffs around the harbour - that's the derelict. And the Nostromo crew approach the from the same direction as the ferryman.

    1. Well, my point of view about it is that the Derelict was a bit inspired by Giger's Homage to Böcklin which is based upon Böcklin's Isle of the Dead painting from 1886 with the rocks almost rounded like loaves. But Böcklin's Isle of the Dead paintings appears to be a little inspired by "L'Origine du monde"(1866) by Gustave Courbet, which is the lower part of a woman's naked torso, as if the pubis had been transformed into the trees, and that painting looks inspired by El Greco's The Agony In The Garden of Gethsemane, and perhaps this is quite a trail to consider, but the Derelict is probably also presents itself as a "L'Origine du monde" but with three vaginas instead of one. Giger's later painting Erotomechanics VIII, (work 423)(1979) done shortly after Alien looks very much like a biomechanical "L'Origine du monde" as well. So there are these things to consider and indeed how important the Isle of the Dead paintings appeared to be in various ways, but it does seem to be part of a trail going back into the distant past. There are of course other strange sides to the derelict to think about as well.