Agbabi-Titiaan
Titiaan 'Diana en Actaeon' 1556-9

About face

Patience Agbabi

After Titian


Actaeon, you´ll pay the price for looking
like a god, athletic, proud, immortal.
Diana, goddess of the hunt, will hound you.
She is too harsh; you should have looked at me.
I am her shadow, black yet fairer than
the mistress, clad in cloth finer than cirrus.
I want you, Actaeon. I wish I were
shroud white; O that you’d notice me and mouth
each monumental curve. Her handsome face
off-guard, you brushed aside the drape to see
how cool she bathed; with the pool’s spray, she cursed you
for looking. In this pine-sweet grove, you turned
from man to horned and dappled stag: sentenced.
Look how your fate reflects itself in water.

Look! How your fate reflects itself in water
from man to horned and dappled stag, sentenced
for looking. In this pine-sweet grove, you turned.
How cool she bathed! With the pool’s spray she cursed you.
Off-guard, you brushed aside the drape to see
each monumental curve, her handsome face
shroud white. O that you’d notice me and mouth
I want you. Actaeon, I wish I were
the mistress clad in cloth finer than cirrus.
I am her shadow, black yet fairer than
she is. Too harsh! You should have looked at me.
Diana, goddess of the hunt, will hound you
like a god, athletic, proud, immortal.
Actaeon, you’ll pay the price for looking.

Agbabi-Titiaan
Titiaan 'Diana en Actaeon' 1556-9 detail

Ter gelegenheid van de Olympische spelen toont de National Gallery in Londen drie schilderijen van Titiaan uit zijn reeks 'metamorfosen'.
Het betreft de volgende schilderijen:

·         Diana en Actaeon 1556-9
Olieverf op canvas 184 x 202 cm

·         De dood van Actaeon 1565-76
Olieverf op canvas 178 x 198 cm

·         Diana en Callisto 1556-9
Olieverf op canvas 187 x 204 cm

Ter gelegenheid van deze expositie zijn veertien dichters verzocht te reflecteren op deze schilderijen. Het bovenstaande gedicht is een van deze veertien gedichten, de anderen zijn:

Simon Armitage, Wendy Cope, Carol Ann Duffy, Lavinia Greenlaw, Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, Frances Leviston, Sinéad Morressey,  Don Paterson, Christopher Reid, Jo Shapcott, George Szirtes, Hugo Williams.

In mijn KunstKolom over de doorwerking van de metamorfosen in de beeldende kunst kunt u meer lezen over deze expositie,  de metamorfosen, Titiaan e.v.a..