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The Empress III by Peter Murphy Tarot Card Exhibition Show Sept 21st - London UK

The Empress by Peter Murphy The Empress III Tarot Card  Click here to view painting...

Peter Murphy writes...
"The subject of my painting, The Empress, was the card that I wanted to paint as soon as Ella contacted me with the idea for the show.

The subject matter I felt would not only suit my painting style, ie, egg tempera and gold leaf on
gessoed panel, but also dovetailed rather spookily with an idea that had been percolating since earlier in the
year after exhibiting two of my large heavily gilded 'Rock Icon' altarpiece style panel paintings at the very opulent Belvedere Palace in Vienna.

Researching The Empress Tarot, I was struck by how ancient and profound the ideas the image strives to
express are, the symbolism utilized in the traditional artwork for the card crosses time, cultural and theological boundries and unites them in an all encompassing visual expression of the idea of bounty.
Not only material wealth but the world regenerating itself through the feminine, through fertility, through bursting harvests and flower carpeted meadows, teeming pulsating beauty, both sensual and holy.

The ideas expressed through The Empress Tarot iconography encompasses all theologies, including ancient
Babylonian, Egyptian, Classical Greek and Roman and even includes the Orthodox Christian idea, expressed
in traditional icons of Mary the Mother of God, or God Bearer.

In some early tarot decks The Empress carries a shield with the double
headed eagle, the symbol of The Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires, the eagle staring both east and west,
shorthand for universal authority. I decided to make my version of The Empress a variation on the Eastern
Christian Theotokos Hodegitria icon, this is traditionally believed to be the earliest type of Christian image of Mary, Hodegitria means 'she who shows the way' in Greek and she usually indicates with a pointing finger to the
Christ Child, 'the way' enthroned in the crook of her arm, blessing the viewer.She is wearing the traditional purple and gold embroidered robes of the Empress of Byzantium.

I replaced the traditional Christ Child with a dollar bill, the current universal symbol of wealth or
material bounty,as a surreal twist and as perhaps a rather heavy handed suggestion that maybe
today's society has lost its way somewhat and replaced ancient wisdom, values and truths with
an overriding veneration of financial wealth. "

Peter Murphy
Posted by thanos on Tuesday, September 18 @ 01:04:33 EDT (3695 reads)
Read More... | 58 comments | Score: 0