PodCastle 269: Selected Program Notes From the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer

by Kenneth Schneyer.

Read by Peter Wood.

Originally published in Clockwork Phoenix 4, edited by Mike Allen.

34.     _Magda #4_ (1989)
        Oil on poplar wood, 30 x 21″
        Private collection

Sometimes called “Devotion” by critics, this nude the earliest extant work featuring Magda Ridley Meszaros (1963-2023), Latimer’s favorite model and later her wife.  The lushness of the flesh and the rosiness of the skin are reminiscent of Renoir’s paintings of Aline Charigot _(See, e.g., The Large Bathers_ (1887) (Fig. 8)).  Latimer maintains microscopic hyperrealism even as she employs radiating brushstrokes which emanate from the model, as if Meszaros is the source of reality itself.

_Discussion questions:_

a.      The materials and dimensions of this painting duplicate those of Da Vinci’s _La Gioconda_ (c. 1503-1519) (Fig. 17).  Is this merely a compositional joke or homage by Latimer?  How does it change the way you see the painting?

b.      Most biographers agree that Latimer and Meszaros were already lovers by the time this work was completed.  Is this apparent from the composition or technique?  From the pose of the model?  As you proceed through the exhibit, note similarities and differences between this and other portrayals of Meszaros over the next 34 years.

Rated R. Contains references to murder and child abuse.