Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Thou Art the Man."

At this session we again were fortunate to have three models, greatly increasing the possibilities for poses, which I took advantage of by creating historical scenes. Erica is an experienced model and will soon be starting her own open studio for figure drawing in East Boston, if you are interested in attending, I'll send you her contact information. Patrick also is an experienced model as well as musician (guitar) and actor. His acting experience was helpful in the poses for this session which were designed to tell stories. This was Bhavik's first time modeling and he took to it naturally, excelling at dynamic poses. While primarily a drawing session, three poses were photographed to record the event. Thanks to The Church on the Hill, Boston, for letting us use the room.

"Thou art the man." (2 Samuel 12:7). This scene takes its name from the prophet Nathan's accusation of King David after David seduced Bath-Sheba and arranged the murder of her husband to cover up for the fact that she was carrying David's child. In the biblical account Bath-Sheba does not appear in the episode of the accusation. But I have added her to the scene behind the other figures (to represent being in the background in the text). She looks out to the viewers and, by engaging them, reminds the viewer that she, too, will suffer (note how she caresses her belly, wherein grows the child that Nathan prophesies will die). Both Nathan's and David's heads are in profile, engaging solely with each other, with Bath-Sheba being the only figure looking directly at the viewers. Whereas the text says that David comforted Bath-Sheba after the death of the child, I have Bath-Sheba placing her hand on David's head to comfort him.

Susanna and the Elders. This scene, which was very popular in the Baroque period, is taken from the 13th chapter of Daniel (in Catholic and Orthodox Bibles, it is omitted in Jewish and Protestant Bibles). It is the story of the virtuous woman falsely accused by lecherous old men when she spurns their improper advances. Here we see them spying on her, and even attempting to grope, her as she bathes in her walled garden. The models enjoyed this pose, which is why our Susanna, quite inappropriately to the scene, is smiling.

The composition is based on that the Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari's late Baroque Susanna and the Elders.

First-time model Bhavki created this dynamic pose himself and held it for several minutes.

Here I am posing the models.

Photo credit Christopher Morgan.