Two Paintings from Tate Britain
Art seems to be a word that far to be understandable by many of us. I started to look at art work of many great artists displayed in famous museums. The more I experience them, the more I understand them. Not all of them but at least I have a reason that I would like to enjoy them on my holidays.
Again, in a trip to London, I visited Tate Britain, a gallery showing British paintings over last 500 years. There are two paintings I spent extensive time with. I asked myself if I were the artist how I would like to present the subject. It is very intriguing to have your own answer. The critic said it was much more like despair than hope.
It was painted by George Frederic Watts. The painting is called Hope (1886). The artist commented on his paint that ‘Hope needs not mean expectancy. It suggests here rather the music which can come from the remaining chord’.
Another one is a painting named Proserpine (1874) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
There is a story regarding the painting provided by the Tate Gallery.
‘In the classical myth Proserpine was kidnapped by Pluto, the god of the underworld, to be his wife. She begged to be returned to earth, but because she had eaten some pomegranate seeds Pluto confined her to his kingdom for half of each year. She is shown here eating a pomegranate which symbolises captivity. Jane Morris modelled for Proserpine. She was married to Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s friend William Morris and was also Rossetti’s lover. She was unhappy in her marriage and Rossetti may also have seen her as a captive goddess.’
What a resemble story that you can find in myth and in real life!
A mistake that may change your whole life!
Here is a poem scribed on the frame of the painting
Afar away the light that brings cold cheer
Unto this wall,- one instant and no more
Admitted at my distant palace-door:
Afar the flowers of Enna from this drear
Cold fruit, which, tasted once, must thrall me here:
Afar those skies from this Tartarean grey
That chills me: and afar; now far away,
The night that shall be from the days that were.
Afar from mine own self I seem, and wing
Strong ways in thought, and listen for sign:
And still some heart unto some soul doth pine,
(Whose sounds mine inner sense is fain to bring,
Continually together murmuring,)
"Woe’s me for thee, unhappy, Proserpine!"