Family Honor: Lucretia



This drawing was begun in The Legion of Honor in San Francisco and was based on Lucretia by Voos Van Cleve.  The background was done with photocopy xylol transfers.  The words were harvested from answers to a question I posed on the internet: “What are the family phrases that weigh you down?”

Lucretia killed herself after being raped in order to spur the men in her family into the actions that ended the Kingdom of Rome and brought forth The Republic.  In my mind, her image is also tied into the life of Lucrezia Borgia, who was named for her.  As the two stories of powerful Italian women and their family interactions came together in my mind, the original painting became about the weight of familial obligation and entanglement in the life of women.

From those thoughts came my question, “What are the family phrases that weigh you down?”  And if those phrases are still echoing around in our heads, are they just the knives we push into our own hearts.


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