A Journey of Discovery.
On the 4th August I decided to make a monotone A1 brush drawing of the Porpora painting – ‘Still-life with a Snake, Frogs, Tortoise and Lizard’, as a means of analising the work, bit by bit.
The rationale for this was to try and dig deeper into the meaning of this work, and, maybe discover something about Paolo Porpora himself along the way.
I came to realise that, far from being a still-life, as the title suggests, this painting could be a ‘memento mori’. (the Latin for ‘remember you must die’). At first I wondered how Porpora had achieved the vivacity and movement of these reptiles in his painting – I did not think from taxidermy. Then, by chance, I came across a work, almost identical in composition and subject matter, to a Porpora, that I could hardly believe that it was painted by another artist – a Netherlander with the unlikely name of Otto Marseus van Shrieck!
continued on Joanna's page