Ingrid began her most challenging commission more than a year ago. It was just completed and installed in the owner’s home this past Wednesday. The monumental piece entitled, “Goya’s Muse” combines the transparent images of two of Goya’s most well known paintings, “The Duchess of Alba in White” and the “Duchess of Alba in Black.”
Goya’s history with the Duchess of Alba is not fully known, but it seems likely Goya was in love with her. In the painting nicknamed, “White Duchess” one can see “Solo Goya” (only Goya) written in the sand. The Black Duchess was painted shortly after the Duchess of Alba’s husband died. In it we see her wearing her mourning dress, but not so much sad as defiant.
Ingrid’s challenge was to combine the two paintings into her own work. To do this, she made both images so transparent, the viewer can see through both and to the background beneath. They stand over one another, different versions of the same woman, but also part of each other. Ingrid placed many of her familiar objects into the work to denote time: clocks, sand and an hourglass. Also quite challenging was the scale of the work. Standing at almost 7 feet high (213cm) and nearly as wide, it was extremely difficult to handle the large panels and became quite heavy, about 150lbs. In both works the Duchess is standing on the beach, Ingrid wanted to create the illusion of the sand in motion. Using industrial glue and solvent, she created a frozen seascape of sand and shells that looks like a slice of the beach.
Off to the right of the monumental portrait of the two duchesses is the tiny portrait of her dog. Ingrid decided to place the dog in a separate box and frame so it would not lose its importance in the large piece. He stands alone on a bed of shells and sand, illuminated by hidden lights in the box, but also connected to the duchess by a gold chain. The effect is at once poignant and humorous. For all her importance and nobility the duchess couldn’t be without her little dog.
Thank you Brad and Penny for commissioning Ingrid to do this challenging work, for your patience and trust. She is grateful and honored to have created a work of art so special for you.