Four

 

her sloped shoulders,
solemn face,
heavy ornate dress,
puffed sleeves

stiff turban

their names forgotten

repeated




he holds her
thumb

with three digits
in a ninth of the frame
madre
“come, watch
me

delicate

golden-haired
barely there against her
hip
in the bottom left quadrant


his desire








A Young Woman, Bronzino (1540)

 

 

 

 

 

 

oval face and
fashion of
ornate: large grey eyes motherhood

the jeweled snood
embroidered stomacher hand rests to keep
fine gold link bracelets
a black ribbon forms a pattern snug

lavender-
match: rose     pulled back

splashed shoulder wings
lace-bordered collar
picot-edged apron
pearl-white     French blue



little hand in big
little proud and little playful
smile the same








Little Daughter, de Vos (1620-25)

 

 

 

 

 

 

father : son :
Adriano : mother : daughter

he loved hair back,
turned to gold
parted

jeweled

hair
white and gold
blood-orange velvet

gold hems
amber beads





a curious fur, the head
of metal

large brown eyes

white lace

a miniature of her mother

auburn hair gold braid








Porzia, Veronese (1556)

 

 

 

 

 

 

distress marked
out of the shadow
and tenderness
in dark
brown ink past the cupboard
wrapped in blankets
forearm support skirts swirling



comforting    small

pressed close,









before the great
son of a painter poverty

before                                              space

into the blank white

“the difficult years”
love
in full light
her serene face








Saskia, Rembrandt (1636)

 

Contributor

Jessica Smith

JESSICA SMITH has authored numerous chapbooks including, most recently, mnemotechnics (above/ground press), and one book, Organic Furniture Cellar (Outside Voices). Her second book is forthcoming from Chax Press.

ADVERTISEMENTS