Monday, 12 October 2009

The Dream of the Virgin

Killing time in the National Gallery before lunch at the Academy Club I wandered around the icons and early Renaissance stuff. Not something that would usually attract me, but since 'Wonderworker' my interest has been pricked. I came across this extraordinary picture by Simone dei Crocefissi. It is called The Dream of the Virgin. The cross issues from the sleeping virgin's womb. Adam and Eve, crudely not quite nude, are being liberated from limbo by some strange unbodied hand, and an old woman reads at the end of the bed. There's a fairly groovy bedspread. Then there are very tiny little castles all over the place. There is lots of activity, and the painter clearly enjoyed himself. It has no dry piety about it and a certain kind of sensuousness in the curves that makes it very appealing.


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