The Embrace – diptych

The Embrace - 1 & 2 - work in progress

A love story as old as humanity.
I can’t remember how exactly I ended up looking for photos of excavations of Pompeii’s skeletons, but there I was. One photo inspired me but it wasn’t strong enough. And after several clicks I found something touching.

After some more clicks I found the right source of inspitation:

It could be humanity’s oldest story of doomed love. Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons from the Neolithic period locked in a tender eternal embrace and buried outside Mantua, just 25 miles south of Verona, the romantic city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale of “Romeo and Juliet.” Buried between 5,000 – 6,000 years ago, the prehistoric pair are believed to have been a man and a woman and are thought to have died young, as their teeth were found intact. The burial site was located during construction work for a factory building. Anthropologists said double prehistoric burials are rare – especially in such a pose. The two bodies, which cuddle closely while facing each other on their sides, a sign of a great love which has transcended time, were probably buried at the same time, an indication of a possible sudden and tragic death. (Photo by Maurix/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

But the perspective was not how I wanted it. What I did was open my CAD software (Sketchup 2018), and rebuild this scene in 3D. The skeleton I downloaded from Sketchup Warehouse and it is good enough to get me started. Details are for later.

I try to get some grip on the bone-forest. The two paintings are composition wise identical and together they shall form a short narrative of love and time. The left painting I envision in a barren landscape. The right painting in a moss covered, lush and green environment.

Or, both in the same environment but with the sun coming in from another angle. I got the words “from dawn to dusk” in my mind. Maybe I play with that a little more.

The following days…

The first painting is somewhat in a good shape. Not done but I feel satisfied. The second painting has just started and I like the landscape already. The highlights for the moss turn out to be almost a radioactive luminescence, I love it. This was an accident but one learns to appreciate accidents when one gets older.

Next is to wait for the paint to dry and the cardboard to be flat again. But the bulged cardboard gives a beautiful landscape effect I see. I try to paint that back in later. In reality the highlights are not there. It is the light reflecting of the bulged cardboard

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