Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rainbow at Botanica

Sometimes there are important characteristics in people that you cannot show in a portrait. There is something missing from this photograph, and it is that you cannot see that she moves with extreme grace and lightness.

We had landed up at this delightful place by chance. We were talking to
a young woman on the sidewalk outside who was applying gesso to some canvasses, and the proprietor of the bar joined us and asked us in. He was a perfect host and the sandwich was delicious.

He told us that he bought the three story brick building twelve years ago and that it was a burnt out wreck. "I restored it myself."

"Are you an architect?"

"No, an engineer."


  1. While it may have been unintentional, the patterned botanical motifs on the wall behind her combined with the opaque translucency of her sweater and magnificent Pre-Raphaelite tresses implies grace and lightness. What an ambiguous gaze. Calm, yet slightly worried. The barest crack of a smile. I'm curious, Is this your only shot of her?

  2. I saw the botanical motif only as a background. It also happened to be where the light was good. I did not see the connection between it and her sweater, but I see it now you have pointed it out.

    I agree with your description of her look. I took three shots, varying the distance and her position in the frame in each.

  3. Funny John, I saw Botticelli when I saw the photo and of course Modigliani in her features.

    It's interesting Dmitri doesn't have much knowledge of art history - as you know he tends to wait out museum trips at the café - but his portraits tend to recall paintings from the Renaissance. Maybe the old masters captured people as they arranged themselves naturally.

    You may not have noticed that my photo is on the blog. Don't I get an art mention?

  4. In your other shots Dmitri, did her expression and/or composure change? And yes Caroline, now that you mentioned it, elements of Botticelli and Modigliani are hauntingly reminiscent here. No, I haven't noticed your photo yet Caroline. Apologies. I just have to go downstairs and put the laundry in the dryer and I'll take a look.


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