When I was planning my trip to Portugal I came across the story of Dom Pedro and Doña Inés which is one part a tragic romance and one part a grotesque bit of folklore and I was instantly obsessed with it. To make a fairly long story (which you can read here) short, Inês was the great love of Dom Pedro and was assassinated by Dom Pedro's father the king in response to political pressure from advisers who feared the influence of her Castilian family. This prompted a war between father and son which eventually ended in a truce of sorts until the king died.
According to folklore the newly crowned king then had Inês' corpse exhumed, dressed in finery and crowned and had the entire court come to pay her respect as their queen and kiss her hand.
He also commissioned grandiose tombs for both of them which I went and saw at the Monastery of Alcobaça and had her body moved from its original resting place in a candlelit procession "between two lines of stars". The tombs are placed contrary to tradition foot to foot across from each other in the chapel of the monastery so that when the world ends and the dead rise they would each (theoretically) sit up and see each other first.
The phrase "Até ao fim do mondo" (until the end of the world) can be found at the foot of Dom Pedro's tomb which includes a carving of the wheel of life. It's not really visible in my picture but at the bottom of the wheel there's an upside down corpse that has this inscription:
Anyway, I'm not the most sentimental person but I found this story irresistibly melodramatic and macabre so I've been thinking about it ever since my trip and a valentine's day show seemed too perfect an opportunity to do a painting about it. The weird little skull cherubs are something I had sketched out a while ago, with references to biblical cherubim in the wings covered with eyes and the confusion with the European putto (I first learned about that reading a Wind in the Door in elementary school haha). I don't paint babies often (or really even LOOK at babies) so they might not be the best haha. A couple photos of it mounted to the wood heart and hanging on the wall:
Here's the info for this show:
1050 North Hancock Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Saturday, 2/11. 50 + Artist. This Show is Cash and Carry. No Sunday reception, just a big one on Saturday...
And tonight is the Alice Bag/3Jane/Brillian Colors/Carmen show at the Marvelous. It's gonna be a cool weekend. I'll also be starting some bat show work!