taking it further / by Philip Tarlow

1:26 AM: this morning a wave of energy swept over and through me. tempting to label or otherwise identify it. no need, really. rubens' 16 year old bride, provocatively posed in a fur rug, gazes at the viewer. here's the story in ruben's own words: 

“[…] I decided to get married because I was not yet ready to live in the renunciation that is celibacy. […] I took a wife from a good but bourgeois family, although the whole world tried to convince me to marry a lady of the court. But I feared the pride, the plague of nobility […], and thus I liked the idea of taking a wife who does not blush when she sees me pick up a brush.” 

i have elongated her chubby face. i delighted, as did rubens, i'm sure, in painting of the white band round her forehead, her simple yet all important earrings and her vivacious eyes. 

that said, let's remember, this is a painting. yes, this is rubens filtered through the consciousness of a 21st c. painter. but, when all is said and done, these are marks on a 2 dimensional surface. they either enliven and bring that surface to life, or not.