Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Ok, I was wrong, there were six illustrations, not five!  This is the last of the Reader's Digest paintings I did for Rosalind Laker's Venetian Mask. I don't remember exactly how it occurred, but the heroine's husband was taken to prison on some charge, no doubt the work of the evil villain. Our lady bails him out and basically saves him, too. Talk about heroic! I had him in his cell, writing a letter ( to his wife, no doubt), when she arrives and the door is flung open. I tried to make it look like he jumped up so fast that he knocked over his chair and spilled the ink. Being one of the upper class, he would have had a chair and table, perhaps, and writing instruments, unless he was really in trouble. I based this cell on a jail cell I remembered seeing in the Doge's palace, near the Bridge of Sighs. For those who aren't familiar with Venetian history,  there was a slot in the wall of the palace through which accusations could be slipped anonymously. To be accused, was to be found guilty. It was up to you and your family to prove otherwise. A system that was all too easy to abuse and a great way to get rid of an enemy or a rival. The accused entered the palace for a hearing and sentence over the bridge of sighs, so called because it would be, for so many prisoners, the last view they would ever see of their beloved city.
I'm quite proud of this series and others I did for the Digest. I hope you enjoyed seeing these images that haven't had a viewing in many years.
Please leave your comments!


Eleni Konstantine said...

I remember seeing the bridge of sighs and thought about the souls looking out onto Venice. Love the colour of her dress as if she is the sun that will bring him out of the darkness. Thanks for sharing these pictures.

James Griffin said...

Thank you for your lovely and thoughtful comments about the whole series! They really inspire me to post more.

Veronica Bennet said...

Certainly the technique is very different. I really like the painting and often I prefer , they taste more real. I'm curious, have you ever thought the retouch these images with the digital programs?

James Griffin said...

Hi Veronica, I have done that a few times, but the paintings are things that stand on their own. I prefer to make new images. I'm glad you're back!
Thanks, James