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

Selected Program Notes From the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer

by Kenneth Schneyer

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.

About the Author

Kenneth Schneyer

Ken was a finalist for both the Nebula and Sturgeon Memorial Awards for his story “Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer,” which also appeared on PodCastle.  Fairwood Press released his second collection, Anthems Outside Time and Other Strange Voices, in 2020, including both of his PodCastle stories and 24 others.  His short fiction can be found in Uncanny, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Analog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies, and many podcasts.  In his other life, he is a professor of humanities & legal studies at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he teaches everything from constitutional law to Shakespeare to science fiction.  You can find him on Facebook and Twitter, as well as at his web site, kenschneyer.com

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About the Narrator

Pria Wood

Pria Wood was the audio producer for PodCastle from 2009-2018 and remains immensely proud of her work there. Currently she is an Instructional Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi where she teaches a number of theatre classes. She has also been releasing music as These Liminal Days (https://theseliminaldays.com).

Find more by Pria Wood