“Playing the Piano” — Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905)

I’m taking a sanity break. Or maybe not.

Someone posted the painting above on Twitter and it’s been haunting me…which is perfect, I guess, for my new—truthfully, not-so-new—novel about a woman, a house, two pianos, and a man.

Over the past ten years, the novel has gone through so many incarnations I’ve lost count. But three elements have remained constant: the house, the pianos, and the man. The woman has now become women—two.

When I saw Edelfelt’s painting, it was as though someone had read my mind.

The scene disturbs me in the worst and best ways—his face, closeness to her, intense expression, the way one hand rests on her shoulder, the other on the music rack, and her rigid back, hands frozen in motion. What is she feeling? Her face seems to shift so subtly, I can’t tell.

Yet I know I feel like a voyeur.

And I can’t look away. The painting has triggered all kinds of sensations, bringing me closer to the heart of a setting and what lies within.

I think.

So it’s spread across my computer screen.

Where I can’t escape it.


©2018 All Rights Reserved

8 thoughts on “Screensaver

  1. I would like this painting a lot better if the man’s hand wasn’t on her shoulder. To me, this conveys a teacher who is a little too intense. The student doesn’t seem to be too disturbed by his closeness, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Candice! The hand placement is one of the aspects that makes this painting to evocative and intriguing, isn’t it? What is their relationship? You’re right: she doesn’t seem disturbed, and yet he his closeness to her is both affectionate and possessive. The subtext to this image is so rich and nuanced. Many thanks for your observations!

      Liked by 1 person

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