[Turner’s unfinished “Venice with the Salute”*]
Yesterday, in the collective silence of a Quaker meeting, I waited for whatever was to come to come. And was given: “You’re sad, sweetheart. Just roll with it.”
At first, feeling that acknowledged sadness weight my body, this somber, right-on message seemed enough. Full Stop. The End. But as I literally sat with that weight, sadness became A Thing, an opening, a possibility, a tool, a medium. “My palette,” I decided. Something to work with.
So I will. I am.
*”Venice with the Salute, about 1840-45 (Oil on canvas)
The monumental Baroque church of the Salute, with its great dome,
dominates the entrance to Venice’s Grand Canal. Turner probably
focused on this landmark in hopes of finding a buyer.
He left the work unfinished, however, barely defining the buildings
on either side; water, land, and sky merge. The extraordinary,
shimmering forms evoke the paradox of dense fog on a sunny day.
[Explanatory notes, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, May 2022]