Saturday, 19 November 2011

A Mystery of Similarities and Contrasts

Searching for something absolutely different, I happened to find a 17th century painting called The Cholmondeley Ladies and since then, often do my eyes meet theirs, victim of a mysterious attraction. 

The Cholmondeley Ladies, circa 1600-10, Oil on wood, 886 x 1723 mm, 

I have been immediately enchanted by the composition, a play of similarities and contrasts: the repetition of the women, only identical at first glance, the reduced color pallet enhancing the contrasts and the abundance of details surrounding the faces of the models against the simple background. The ladies, presented not only in the same position, but in the same bed, were disturbing me, leaving me wondering who their were and why they were represented in this strange way. 

The little information I found about this painting made it even more disturbing. According to the Tate Collection, the anonymous painter left an inscription in the bottom left corner of the painting: "Two Ladies of the Cholmondeley Family, Who were born the same day, Married the same day, And Brought to bed (gave birth) the same day" 

Isn't it inspiring?

1 comment:

  1. There is a lot to fascinate the eye in this painting, not unlike looking at an English garden, ...