Post no.12* Jean d'Aire from the Burghers of Calais

9x9 in.
charcoal on paper
2011 stephen bauman

*I have started back at drawing, this time with charcoal, and to a familiar subject- the Burghers. There is so much to love about these figures, these sometimes jaggedly faceted sometimes gently undulating forms. So much conviction in the making of their expressive faces. The more I look at them the less real they look and the more real they seem. Their look on the head of Jean d'Aire that would last only for a second on a living breathing human face has been frozen there for over a hundred years. The story is that they believed they were to be executed after handing over the keys to the city to King Edward III of England but were spared due to the English queen convincing Edward to exercise a bit of mercy. Their city had been held under seige, they were starved and emaciated, ordered to walk outside the city walls half naked toward their presumed execution. Every time I study the features of these sculptures my mind wanders into what the expression is, exactly.

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