Creator: Charles Pompilius
Dimensions: 6 x 8 inches
Date Acquired: 2014-07-09
From Where?: Sunrise, Florida (US)
Charles says: “I’ve worked with Clare a lot over the last couple of years. She has modeled for a number of my larger compositions. She has a remarkable ability to understand and imaginatively interpret my intentions for a given pose, even when I don’t fully understand them myself. Perhaps it’s because of her stage experience. Clare somehow brings a unique body language and facial expression to each idea I present her with. Here she forcefully thrusts her arm out perpendicular to her body, while keeping the clutched arrow parallel to it. Her gesture captures perfectly the aggressive theme of the painting. I felt that the treatment of the background also fit the theme. The arrow predates recorded history and is rich with meaning in many cultures.”
I was very impressed by how much presence this painting has in a panel size that I have often worked with. The loosely-held arrow creates a fascinating contrast with the tight grasp of the left hand, as does the sharply painted arrow with the diffuse aura of light in the background, all brought together by the concentrated gaze of the model, Clare.
The pose brought to mind Sargent’s Madame Gautreau Drinking a Toast, in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: