Saturday, October 4th, 2008 Archives

Here’s another sketch of Temperance, trying to figure out a more stylized composition and imagery. The funky fat shapes at the bottom are very loosely drawn pigs.

I’ve included a vesica about her to emphasize the duality of all these images, although it’s mostly concealed by the triumphant wings. I find duality a consistent pre-occupation these days – if good and evil exist, they must have come from God. If so, God contains both forces. I’ve also included a crescent above her for the moon, and this time she’s standing upon a sun.

Virtue can’t exist without its opposite to reveal it, nor can wickedness exist without goodness to expose it.

Furthermore, it’s hard to find a perfect goodness or a perfect evil without a grain of its opposite emerging from it. A duality is not conceivable, but with the relationship between the two sides of any opposing couplet comprising the third part of the group, a trinity balances the two. Within any duality there exists a relationship between the two opposite things. So, keep an eye open for the deadly sins and the emergence of the virtues from them in these paintings, ultimately they’re all expressing the necessary trinity of dualities.

Knocking about the internet looking for Renaissance images of the cardinal virtues didn’t get me any closer to solving the mystery the missing Prudence, who will remain lost for now, but on one of my many meanderings from the object of my search I was reminded of the pure delight that it to be found in the works of Sandro Botticelli. He was a wonderful painter. I found a beautiful new book on Amazon that I have ordered for myself (I always check out the used copies first to see if anyone has a better deal) because it looks as though it might be one of the best large format books on him out there.