Monday, July 10, 2006

Something Uncontrollable





In case I’ve been missed, I’ve been working on a series of poems about this woman, La Donna Velata. With any luck, I’ll be finished sometime in 2008. I saw this portrait in Rome over 25 years ago, and though I’ve never been back, it’s haunted me ever since. Painted by Raphael about ten years after Leonardo painted Mona Lisa, for me it has all the mystery and force that I imagine people found in Mona Lisa before it became a cliché. As this article in The Guardian says about the painting:

Something uncontrollable is happening under her rich clothes, as the silk of her sleeve goes into convulsions, but she looks back at you boldly. Vasari thought this was the woman for whom Raphael lusted to death. Others say it was a baker’s daughter. All that’s certain is that this is a different Raphael, painting like an open-hearted Venetian and not a Roman careerist. Pity he didn’t do it more often.

2 comments:

Beverly said...

Hey, Robert. We did miss you. Although I've been away too and generally out of the poetry business. But it's good to see the painting, having seen already so many of the wonderful poems. 2008? Surely just mid-2208.

Diane K. Martin said...

Beverly, 2208? That's when my book will come out. :)