ABOUT THE URN
Artist: Gabriel Picart
Land of Origin: Spain
An explosion of gilded loveliness takes us on a trip into reality, laced with historical fantasy. The painterly execution with a flawless treatment of illumination adds to the mystical atmosphere of the scene. The textures of the deeply symbolic objects, precious fabrics, firm skins, and the pushing clouds, leave us gazing from one perfect detail to the next. The brilliant colors in this work are not vulgar or loud but hushed and dreamy, from the luminous cast of gold upon it.
Still as a stone, Cleopatra floats mid-air and presents as the center of the universe. Amid the golden glow of a cloudy, setting sun, the vessel, cargo, and passengers gently make their way to a solemn destination.
Adorned with a cornucopia of carefully placed urns, fruits, statuettes and goblets all with their own, deeply specific meaning, this piece could easily render many thoughts among viewers who recognize these objects in all their symbolism. Given the rich detailed tapestry of these interlocking layers, there lies an essay, yet to be written.
“The Urn” also serves a contemporary commentary function on the status of Catalonia, within or next to the Kingdom of Spain, which Gabriel hopes can be peacefully and democratically determined through the ballot box (hence “The Urn” in the scene and in the title).