5 Comments

  1. Marlene Gardelis

    Interesting take on Westergren’s Victory. But in context of her other stuff, I am not sure reference to the crucifixion can be taken in a sacred sense. Personally, I suspect it’s ironic. As in, “your goose is cooked.”

  2. Christopher S. Johnson

    Marlene, as I hoped I indicated, I also wrested with the sincerity, or lack thereof, in the painting. My scepticism was assuaged eventually by a number of things: the Mantegna reference; the recent Unicorn at Bay (linked in the article) which seemed devoid of irony and also dealt with related religious themes, though even more obliquely; and by a strange fairy tale-like self-portrait (you can find it on her website) of a tiny Ms. Westergren atop a gigantic goose, which seemed to indicate a special significance of the goose to the artist.

    While I might still be persuaded otherwise, I would tend to locate the meaning of the painting closer to “intimations of mortality,” than your wonderfully witty “your goose is cooked.”

  3. Patrick

    Interesting pieces. In reference to the post above, I’m not sure which stuff you have in mind. If she were not sympathetic to Christianity, why the interest in medievalism and allegorical still life? I mean, sure, you COULD read it ironically, but then you COULD read anything ironically. It’s always a possibility, but she seems sincerely interested in Christian themes rather than taking a mocking posture.

  4. PainterJoe

    That piece of coral has always fascinated me. Coral was considered to have protective powers. That makes sense in terms of the historical reason for the painting. But it is shaped like a mandrake root, an important herb at the time.

  5. Eamon_D

    Like Patrick, I think Westergren is sincere but maybe that’s just because I want to think so. There is nothing about appropriating medieval imagery that, by itself, indicates sincerity. There’s nothing inherently “sincere” about borrowing.

Comments are closed.