Saturday 13 April 2013

Lisa Couwenbergh / Hugo van der Goes

Hugo van der Goes
Portinari Triptych
oil on panel
253 x 586 cm

Hugo van der Goes
Portinari Triptych
detail (right panel)

Hugo van der Goes is one of my favorite painters, as well as Rogier van der Weyden, Max Beckmann, Hans Memling, Lucien Freud, Ferdinand Hodler, Dirk Bouts, Grünewald, El Greco, Ghirlandaio, Lucas Cranach, Mantegna, Holbein, Philips Koninck, Fouquet, Clara Peeters, Zurbarán, Giorgio de Chirico, Vermeer, Mondrian, Fra Angelico, Caspar David Friedrich, Philip Guston, Georf Flegel, Balthasar van der Ast, etc, etc.
On the side panel of the Portinari Triptych by Hugo van der Goes in the Uffizi in Florence, you see the saints Margaret and Mary Magdalene. Smaller portrayed are Maria Portinari, the wife of the one who commissioned the triptych, with her daughter Margaret. Between mother and daughter, a huge monster emerges. Curiously enough, in most descriptions of the painting that monster is not noticed. It looks much like a toad. Toads were granted magical powers. St Margaret would have been swallowed by a monster and then spewed out again. That symbolizes the power of overcoming the darkness of the subconscious.
My painting 'The Cabinet' is also populated with monsters. They have no symbolic meaning, but they arose while painting, from the subconscious.

Lisa Couwenbergh, 2013

Lisa Couwenbergh (NL)
The Cabinet
acrylic on canvas
260 x 235 cm

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