Sunday, 13 April 2014

A footnote on Veronese: two recurring women

Detail: The Supper at Emmaus

A footnote on Veronese - will no doubt get to the National Gallery again this week during my lunch hour.
And will I see this woman in another painting?
I spotted her here last week....
But - through the miracle of Pinterest (not quite sure how that works) - see that she also appears in at least one other painting - the Wedding at Cana which is at the Louvre.
The Wedding at Cana/Veronese

Detail: The Wedding at Cana

Mary McCarthy in Venice Observed throws some light on this - I must ask an art historian for more. (Maybe I will even have to get the audio guide at the National Gallery)...McCarthy talks about the vast banquet scenes - greedy, vital, sensual.

"Indeed, the first impression is one of a tumultuous rabble of vulgar parvenu persons who have taken possession of a series of classical palaces and who, drunk with success, are invading the sky...

"But there are two Veronese dominions. One is ruled by a fat woman who looks rather like the Empress Maria Theresa. The other is ruled by a young woman with delicate pensive face and an intent, halted listening expression."

The first is clearly above; the second here below in Venice and Hercules and Ceres: 
Detail: Venice and Hercules and Ceres/Accademia, Venice

What and who are these two Venices? McCarthy says the august matron is the Venice of splendid entertainments.
The second is 'the awakening, tinctured with melancholy, in the candid morning light of the lagoons...'
A puckered brow, as if a frown may pass over it. The morning after the party feeling, perhaps.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy