This acrylic painting by André Romijn, titled “One for Sorrow, Two for Joy,” is a captivating piece that draws upon historical and mythological themes.
The subject, with her piercing green eyes and fiery red hair, is set against a background that is at once both vivid and mysterious. The textures and colours used by Romijn create a rustic ambiance that resonates with the Tuscan inspiration behind the work.
The earthy reds and oranges of the background contrast with the cool blues of the subject’s attire, bringing her visage to the forefront. Romijn’s use of colour and texture brings a tactile quality to the piece, with the layers of paint suggesting depth and history, much like the frescoed rooms that inspired the work. The magpies, while only hinted at in the description, are rendered with a subtlety that doesn’t detract from the central figure, yet adds to the narrative and symbolic complexity of the piece.
A layer of storytelling
The use of animal symbolism, in this case, the magpies, is a nod to historical artistic practices where such imagery was imbued with layers of meaning. Romijn’s work here reflects a harmony between the inspiration drawn from historical context and his own artistic interpretation. Inspired by a visit to San Gimignano in Tuscany, Romijn discovered that a doorpost of one of the medieval frescoed rooms of the Camera del Podestà in the Palazzo Comunale shows two magpies. Romijn’s interpretation, suggesting luck for those leaving the room, or a reference to the myth of Pierus’ daughters, adds a layer of storytelling to the visual experience.
The subject’s expression is rendered with a softness that belies a complex inner world, her gaze set off into the distance, implying contemplation or reverie. Such an expression invites interpretation, allowing the artwork to communicate different stories to different viewers.
His use of colour, light, and shadow creates a luminous quality that seems to bring the figure to life. The overall composition, with its evocative symbolism and textural depth, creates a compelling visual experience that is both grounded in tradition and rich with interpretative potential.
- Size (h w d): 60 x 90 x 2 cm
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