I Lock My Door Upon Myself

  "I Lock My Door Upon Myself", 1891, Fernand Khnopff. (Title inspired by a poem by Christina Rosetti.)

 

"I Lock My Door Upon Myself", 1891, Fernand Khnopff. (Title inspired by a poem by Christina Rosetti.)

One of my all-time favourite paintings from the Symbolist fin-de-siécle era. It's an incredible painting: the woman is alone, but gazing back at the viewer. The bust behind her is Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep. Is this a dream? The room has always suggested to me an impossible geometry of space similar to what I sometimes see in dreams of my own. Is that a window with a shadowy figure, or a painting on the wall? Is she escaping someone by withdrawing? Khnopff has created a masterpiece that suggests both mythology and narrative while steadfastly refusing to verify what we are looking at. 

I'm going to try and treat my blog as less precious than I have been, and share inspirations as well as my own work. Hopefully sharing bits of fine art history like this will be interesting to others.