The Lady of the Box (La Loge)
DescriptionA take on Renoir's painting La Loge - I tried to create a story around this painting however I think it may have ended up being rather fragmented
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A moment is painted. The nervous atmosphere is breathed in. There is a mysterious young woman. Who is she? On display like animals at a traders fair, people are individually graded box by box. They are the little intricacies in the architecture each individually carved by a master craftsman, themselves. Colour and riot encapsulate this picture. The night is clear, sharp, resonating with excited anticipation. The place is the Theatre de l'Odean the exposé of Parisian talent. Which great work of art are we expecting tonight, Charles Baudelaire, Victor Hugo, Alexander Dumas or perhaps the delightful representations of the most talented actress Sarah Bernhardt? Trivialities like this we might never know. The place is an educated guess but yet it sets a scene and we continue. Two people captivate an audience. The stage curtains have been drawn back and the performance has begun. Actors draw the riveted gaze away from our subjects. The orchestra strums and trumpets the opening tune. Action, drama and flamboyant gestures are a mere distraction for our artist. His gaze is drawn, elsewhere. There is a man he is unconcerned and appears unaffected inturn reviewing the spectators. It is she that requires most attention. Artfully coiffed to promote conversation her dress tailored by an unknown with appreciation for her feminine charm. Yet it is the feature of her eyes, her mobile mouth and delicate skin that an artist would pine for, the perfect muse. He sits mesmerized by her perfect countenance as she is mesmerized by the scenery, the melodrama, the grandiosity. Her every expression and nuance captivates him as does the riot of colour, shade and tint that is her expressive nature. Bouquets of delicate pink flowers are the only colour she is wearing and strings of luminous beads lie at her breast. O Muse! Where does the artist begin? He is inspired, so moved by this stunning virtuoso. Disaffected, her escort is background to the artist's subject. Although, he is a portrait in his own right. The questions and queries about our mysterious lady he does not hear; nor would he care to, hiding behind his opera glasses. Our artist is almost envious of this nonchalant poise. How can he be so disconnected? To be so proximate to Eden itself and to not be disarmed, left without feeling or sense seems foreign to our artist. Ahh, drunken haze, blurred vision and dizzy thoughts, yet she is as clear to the artist as the moon against a crystal night sky. The music ceases and curtains are closed a signal to depart. Disappointed, he may never see her again although night after night he returns to the Parisian spectacle with the hope he may see his vision. Muse, have you forsaken me? Memory may fade into insignificance but the artistic hand is true. Painted with love and feeling, formed and cast with emotion and fervour, oh muse. Captured for eternity she will remain an artist's delight, a mysterious woman, a lady of the box.