Friday, May 16, 2008

Paris: Louvre sketch: Reni Hercules

After Guido Reni's
"Hercules sur le bucher", 1619
Louvre, Paris

Luckily my husband loves museums too, so he was content to wander alone while I worked on this sketch.

I love this painting, how the ribcage feels like a heavy living mass of bone and connective tissues, sagging and stretching within a flexible network of skin and muscle barely holding everything together. The pelvis and ribcage are resenting their connection by the spine, each urging towards their own expression. The belly is only an afterthought, no intention of its own, merely subject to other forces. The limbs are all secondary, the gesture is complete in the torso.