Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fugitive II

Detail from Titian's "Bacchus and Ariadne,"
1520-23, National Gallery

Restoring myself to myself with a very
unsteady hand—working in the dark,
by touch. The conservators I’d read
(all chemical savants) understood the
few hours it took for time and light to
dull Veronese’s sky, steal the red from
Titian’s caped Bacchus, rob Vermeer’s
buttery glaze and leave his laurels blue.
But this is the work. If we don’t know
how to unbind an organic dye from its
metallic salt and remake it whole, we
will look under the edges of the frame
for who we were last, when last happy.

No comments: