Symbolism to come

I’m preparing to include more detail in the environment of the Empress by repainting her face completely. Model Keziah will be in the studio tomorrow, so I”ll get her to pose for me so I can improve the Empress. Keziah has a perfectly Vitruvian face, with strong feminine features; I’ve been looking forward to painting her for a long time, and she’s perfect for the Empress.

I’m adding two pillars to the opening that emerges from the courtyard on the left behind the Empress. Symbolically speaking, then she will be between two pillars bordering the archetypal threshold; crossing a threshold is an essential part of initiatory ritual to this day: any candidate must pass through an entrance to symbolize his parting from his previous existence into his new life. Anthropologist Victor Turner described this as the liminal experience, from the Latin limen.

As guardian of the threshold, the Empress shows us that the power she holds is to be found between this material world and the transcendent world of spiritual attainment, for initiation into mysteries is a necessity for any seeker who desires to find their pathway to God. It is necessary, because it is through initiation that one finds others who share the same destination, if not entirely the same journey to it.

I will include, probably as a necklace, a miniature of the globus cruciger, the emblem of God’s dominion over the earth and coronation accessory of Britain’s earthly rulers (known in Monty Python as “The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch”). It appears in Alciato’s Book of Emblems as “the Seal of Venus”, in association with a bird.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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