Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More Frances Yates blogging

(1). In the "Iris Portrait", Elizabeth of England is painted with a snake on her left arm to show that she belongs to the legitimate reptiloid blood-line, despite being a member of the usurping Tudor dynasty. The fabric of her cloak is embroidered with eyes and ears to remind the viewers that her spies are everywhere and that Francis Walsingham stands behind her. What look like wings behind her head are actually solar panels that collect the energy to light up her pearls at night, and similarly the limp garden hose in her hand is a symbol that she is doing her part for water conservation by only watering the Hampton Court maze twice a week. I have no idea why she is wearing a jewel-and pearl-studded mandrill's skull as part of her headdress.

(2) The "Frisbee Portrait" is another allegory of Elizabeth's legitimacy and her claim to unified-executive imperial powers. "The Frisbee of State belongs to me," it seems to say; "I can stop the game any time I want, like for instance if I'm not winning by enough points, and those courtiers behind me on my left will just have to stand in the corridor hitting each other with sticks until I've forgiven them." The shiny beads of her necklace and her brooch are actually graphite, and symbolise the royal monopoly of the mining of graphite* as established by the Case of Mines in 1568. The column behind her right hand is an early version of the zoetrope. You could look into any of the windows with which it is studded, and a succession of painted stills would flash by, telling the story of Dido and Aeneas as an animation.

* A vital component of national security due to its role in lubricating cannons.

(3) The "Doormat Portrait" shows Elizabeth wiping her feet on an elaborate doormat shaped like Great Britain. The emphasis in this painting is that any claim from christian leaders to have equal or greater authority than hers has been soundly defeated. This is why it is rife with pagan symbolism. With the black gloves in her left hand she has power to summon the thunderclouds while the funnel in her right hand projects the sunlight (it can also be used as a pointer during a Powerpoint presentation). Her dress, embroidered with a hexagonal network of orifices, is made from the skins of those who offended her or challenged her power.

Now, my impression of US politics is that Vice-President Sarah Palin has a similar problem to that which faced Elizabeth: that is, despite the attention given to her opinions by the US news media, there are still sectors of the population who deny her legitimacy and insist that someone else is the actual VP.

If she wants to follow Elizabeth's example and use portraiture and clothing to bolster her claims, we have an artist who's up to speed on the proper iconography.

Photographs of "Sorrowful Eye - Sea" and "Sorrowful Eye - Pest" are both c/o Maryrose Crook


fish said...

3) The "Doormat Portrait" shows Elizabeth wiping her feet on an elaborate doormat shaped like Great Britain.

I think you can get those at Lilian Vernon

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

hey! those aren't woodcuts.

Smut Clyde said...

I coloured them in. With watercolour.

mikey said...

Very nice.

Once, in the dayroom I made a potholder out of and old towel and some cotton batting.

Dr. Pleexseep said he thought it was very nice. Do you think he was mocking me?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Smut is a genius.

Another Kiwi said...

I thought Walsingham was Elisabeth, hence the bigggggggg dresses and no marriages. That's what Fox News said.
Boffo post Smut.

ckc (not kc) said...

Powerpoint is pagan??!

[transition - dissolve]

fish said...

I coloured them in. With watercolour.

That explains why she needed to wipe her feet.