but technically, I think somehow it's even more difficult than manipulating brushes and oil.
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
What does that rope near the woman's feet represent? She is not about to hang herself, is she? I mean, she looks like a decent lady and all, -- would be a shame.
Several aspects of this image strike me (none of which are perhaps original).
In terms of stylisation, I struggle to make sense of images like this. Whatever period it derives from, it is the concrete present which I hope bears no reference to vaunting of this much admired woman. For what strikes me most in the image is how death invades the whole scene. The light-painting effect reveals the woman from the darkness of her surroundings and in classical seductress style; her right hand pointing towards her right leg, revealed in the fold of a red dress which extends from the centre of the image into man's righthand side. It is there the viewer's entry to this image is apprehended as alluring. Perhaps clich�d, but sensually erotic nonetheless, and erotic in the perturbation of the male mind which therefore asks: "wherefore does madame hide her left leg?"
Yet what is hidden is purposefully posed: its absence reveals the arrogance of the left hand which is unequivocally self-referential: the narcissism of the woman's posture is revealed in her blearing and contemptuous boredom at being imaged by the viewer or photographer. Why this portrayal of casual nonechalance? Perhaps it only makes sense to me when I trace my eye around around her body (so then the photographer' skill has seduced me) and find her beautifully enclosed in subtle brickwork; other arrangements closing in around her. So there is no escape from, the dominant subject; her back to a brickwall of a background and the closure of the foreground by the trailing rope. Perhaps this is the suicidal noose by which she is to hang; like all beautiful objects; this one is to be admired; dare she move, her fragile life may end, and with it, the viewer's adoration. Perhaps she has failed in public life and retreats to her last stand. How therefore do I come to this extreme admiration? It is the most paradoxical finding of all in this image which derives my extreme view that this image is tainted by death; what could be artifact - a domestic animal, a bag or sack of potatoes forms in my mind as an analogue of Holbein's Ambassadors skull whose death brings life to the image of the woman. This is grasped in visual Gestalt. Look how at the foundation of the image; underneath the seat of the seductress an apparition of a fragmentary face _ a shadow of a man's dark left eye peering back at the viewer, haunting the image with meaning and ominous ambiguity (so the left hand of darkness is replete in this image - in man and woman). In the fearful triangular emblem whose dark eye glares back at me I am struck by the superfical contrast to the nonchalance of the woman's expression. And of course, the minutiae of this detail is the inversion of the triangular space which the model sits encased in; her space is one of adoration, yet the suicidal noose of the rope embracing her feet recall for me how desperately doomed this farewell portrait might appear. Thus the abstract emblem of death is unified with the sensual corporeal form of the seductress.
Does this move me therefore - the fate of a seductress so beautifully wrought with emblematic richness in an imitation of a light study?
Any postmodern feminist would be appalled by my interpretation; have I nothing to say about headdress and necks, bangles and baskets? You do not wish to hear what I have to say about costume. Perhaps then I would invite such critics to hang themselves at the foot of this seductress - there is plenty of rope.
-- Jason Stephens
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Keep in mind that cleaning supplies weren't in abundance in Russia, so the task used to be more difficult and there is still 24 hours in a typical Russian day.
Perhaps then I would invite such critics to hang themselves at the foot of this seductress - there is plenty of rope.
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