Sunday, July 6, 2008

Siesta, or the Joys of Tigerloafing

Frederick Arthur Bridgman, The Siesta, 1878

In my lengthy search for a suitable image to accompany my translation of Govoni's "Peonies", failing to find a satisfactory painting of that flower, I began to look instead at odalisques, and gradually became somewhat obsessed with the motif of languidly reclining woman, so favoured by 19th century painters. I find this work especially soothing; the mild play of light and shade, the harmonious array of complementary colours, the glimpse of lush mediterranean greenery. I could spend days on this sofa, provided some discreet familiar to regularly refill pipe and teapot. Perhaps the monkey would oblige.

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