Friday, November 21, 2008

Godfried Schalcken

Godfried Schalcken. Gentleman Offering Lady a Joint in a Candlelit Bedroom, c. 1698.

Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all;
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?

No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;

All mine was thine before thou hadst this more.

Then if for my love thou my love receivest,

I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest;

But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest

By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.

I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief,

Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief
To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury.

Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,

Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.

-- Wm. Shakespeare, Sonnet 40

Ah, love – as you burn, you destroy. The pain of loving and even of attraction can make one weak. And yet remember the bounties love has brought to the world of art: Shakespeare, Schalcken. Love is never harmless. But its fervor can invoke into the world things unspoken, unarticulatable – art! I let Schalcken, master of the candlelight painters, speak for me here. Love is the greatest candle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At first, I simply wished to say that he is a very wicked man. ... But upon reflection on the cherubic visage of the sister, I found this scene not unlike that which one might encounter upon breaching Saint Peter's gate. Is it inconceivable that after we shuffle off this mortal coil, we might encounter such a realm? Might we at last shed our inhibitions? Oh divine molting!