Thursday, April 22, 2010

Valentine Godé-Darel

Ferdinard Hodler's song to Valentine Godé-Darel

He met and fell in love with her in 1908. In 1913 she was diagnosed with cancer and was bedridden for the next two years. He spent those two years making portrait after portrait of her at her bedside. You can feel all of his activity and helplessness. And sadness.

Mainly they're a tribute to his affection, to the depth of his feeling, and to his wonder and confusion when faced with mortality. To me they feel like he couldn't help but make them. The last one is a memento mori, made after her death. It reminded me of this more recent memento mori:

Annie Liebowitz's song to Susan Sontag 

Ferdinand Hodler on Wikipedia

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