Girl in a Room

Esme Hodsoll British

Not on view

A gathering of disparate elements occupy a bare room in this surreal print by Esme Hodsoll. Her work has a Vermeer-like stillness very much inspired by early masters. Hodsoll had spent time the year that she made this print looking at Durer's Melencolia I (accession number 19.73.85).The artist, who is seated in the bottom left in a pose losely related to that of Melencolia, seems to be part of a dream that includes a donkey standing by a black hole in a room from which there is no escape. A portrait hangs above her and what appears to be a man in a window and a bird soaring above. The donkey may be a reference to St. Francis in the Desert by Giovanni Bellini in the collection of the Frick Museum (c. 1480), but also to Hodsoll’s time on an Island off Kenya, where she was moved by these animals which roamed through the streets.

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