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Comment by Resident Curator on September 29, 2011 at 8:25pm

Curator’s Comments:


Wow.  I could write pages speculating about the iconography of this work!?  But the reason I find it fascinating is because while it contains obvious narration and symbolism, there is some ambiguity about the relationship between the romanticized, tragic figures. The beautiful doll quality of their faces is apparent in your other pieces posted on the site- perfect curls contrasted against creamy skin and rosy cherubic cheeks.  But the expression of the largest doll figure is stern, and almost admonishing.  Our visual proximity virtually solicits her reproach. Her papal miter anointing her with an authoritative superiority, she grasps three swaddled, and slightly damaged infant babies.  The trinity of their relationship is no doubt in concord with the other Catholic references- the rosary wrapped around her bandaged legs holds her strangely immobile in the otherwise empty space.  The vacant eye sockets of the middle baby also made me ponder the “see/speak/hear no evil” triad.  But blindness has other implications in the subtext of religion and allegory.  Blind faith and wisdom relate to epistemic virtues and benevolence.  The Medieval tradition celebrated this macabre narrative in beautifully detailed illuminations.  This piece interestingly maintains that remarkable love of detail in the jewel like color and attention to intricate lacey garments.  All the way down to The Red Shoes.


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