Sunday, December 13, 2009
‘Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance . . . ’
Oil on canvas, 41 X 33cm (16X13in)
Should a painting speak for itself? -- This title, from the sonnet by Keats beginning 'When I have fears that I may cease to be,' came to mind, I suppose, because of the clouds, and also the reverie the damsel appears to be in. She loiters, unaware of the world outside herself, unwilling or unable to appreciate the sea and clouds, feel the grains of sand between her toes, hear the lapping waves.
A title affects the way we view a painting. Walter Sickert was known to alter the title of a work from one exhibition to another. A nude woman lies on a bed -- asleep or dead? On the bed's edge sits a shirt-sleeved man with his head in his hands. And the title? -- No, titles: first 'How do we pay the rent?' and then 'The Campden Town Murder.'