The Uncertainty of the Poet
Giorgio de Chirico, The Uncertainty of the Poet
Image taken from Tate ©
Michael Glover: "The fact that the classical statue – a note tells us that it is Aphrodite, she who once emerged from the froth of the ocean – is set in conjunction with a bunch of bananas transforms this section of the painting into a kind of still life. (Yes, we have often seen, and especially in the Renaissance, paintings of brimming bowls of fruit and flowers beside statues of the pagan gods.) And yet the whole point of a still life, surely, is that the elements are perfectly still, whereas we are not entirely sure that this particular statue is quite still enough. In spite of the fact that it has lost its head, it looks altogether too fleshy, and too much in twisty motion, for us to be entirely convinced that it is made of stone. If we pricked that buttock, would it bleed?"