A portrait’s special magic derives from the fact that it brings us eye to eye with a beautiful, mysterious, or fascinating face from long ago. The inscription in the portrait below reads “this, sweet Victoria, is the living likeness of your lover . . . which I pray you to keep so that nothing can harm it.” The playful inscription and enigmatic symbols, such as the palm frond with two berries, suggest layers of personal meaning for the sitter, whose identity has been lost over time.
So our question is this:
What is the first sentence in the story of this gentleman and his mysterious Victoria?
Post your creative/witty/tragic/funny sentence in the comments section by Wednesday at noon.
Eye to Eye curator Kathleen Morris will choose the winner, who will receive a special Clark prize.
Image credit: Francesco Maria Rondani (Italian, 1490–1550), Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Palm, c. 1520–25. Oil on panel, 23 1/8 x 18 in. (58.8 x 45.7 cm). Private collection. Photo by Glenn Castellano.