HORVATLAND - THE '80s - PROJECTS - VRAIES SEMBLANCESGO TO HOME
2010, from Autobiography, in my iPad application Horvatland
Although my project was to find perfect correspondences between some contemporary women and the female characters of famous works of art, this was an ideal that I rarely attained. The closest I came to it was in the case of Rembrandt’s ‘Bathsheba’, which from the beginning had been at the top of my list, though I knew it would be hard, among the women of my time and of my acquaintance, to find one who had the body of this young Dutch peasant, at once ungainly and blossoming, and who, rather than being proud of it, would not instead feel embarrassed not to have done her best, through exercise or dieting or whatever, to conform to current tastes. But one evening, in a small experimental theatre to which some friends had invited me, I was struck by an actress, who was short, plump and covered almost from head to toe in a kind of sack. For some reason, I got it into my head that she might have the body of Hendrickje, Rembrandt’s maid and mistress. When I was introduced to her and explained to her what I was working on, she didn’t hesitate to invite me into her dressing room and show me her body, which indeed had a close resemblance to Bathsheba’s. It took me a week to find ways of recreating the light, the colours and the background. But as soon as Marie-Paule had examined a reproduction of the painting and as the hairdresser had finished the last adjustments, she entered into the role, to the extent that Rembrandt himself might have accepted her.