Mural with Matching Sky
On the corner by the pub car park is a new mural
after van Dyck’s Venetia Lady Digby on her Deathbed.
Let me count the ways this work inspired by a portrait
of a dead woman paradoxically fills me with happiness.
Huge and bright and apart from the rose mostly blue,
it’s by the German artist Claudia Walde, aka MadC,
a woman of bold vision and talent and about the age
Venetia Digby was when she died in her sleep in 1633.
What Claudia did here is such a surprise: a nifty project,
these “old master murals” by street artists talking back
to their chosen works in the gallery have flashed up
on blank walls and gable ends all over Dulwich, but
none has taken my breath, none makes me stop and
smile and ponder each time I see it the way this does –
a mistressful meeting of past and present, private and
public art, death and unrestrained but not unthinking life.
Jean Morris lives in Dulwich, south-east London, UK, where she writes, edits, translates from French and Spanish and takes photos. For the past six months she’s been contributing to the Via Negativa