The Myrrhbearer’s Gaze

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The Myrrhbearer’s Gaze”, acrylic on canvas, 2024
What moment of revelation illumines the eyes of this woman whose voluptuous hair is concealed by a cloak of red waves enveloping her face? Heaven and earth are depicted in a childlike manner, with stars above and earthly flowers below, softening the intensity of the image and testifying to its warmth and life. A thin horizon of the village stretches out across the page behind her, intensifying the impact of her image in the foreground. Her eyes are stark and fixed before a powerful vision within. The painter offers a clue with a single glowing white alabaster flask beside her, as yet unbroken. Its content is of the same intense red as her cloak, suggesting a link between them. Is this the image of the woman who poured out a pound of precious perfume on the feet of the Lord and wiped them with her hair, and the room was saturated with the fragrance of the mixture of that intimate communion? The painter has managed to capture a hint of the pathos and eros of love in her eyes on the cusp of a prophetic revelation that will evoke in her an intimate self-offering that the Lord will receive as a fitting gift before his own.—Stephen Muse
It appears as if the dawn sweetly breaks, and the Myrrh-bearer goes with fear and inquiry about who will roll away the stone, for it was exceedingly large. She firmly holds the myrrh container, and we recognize her. It has become a mature portrait for artist Maxim, where the eyes, in a wondrous way, and a few brush strokes express everything we discussed. While the dawn sympathetically illuminates the landscape and inanimate nature, conversely, the animate nature—1. eyes wide open, 2. face fearful, and 3. garment wrapped around her body—has all the elements that express the mystery and enigmatic aspect of Baltus’ work. Similarly, here, the Saint is a mystery and enigma until the dazzling angels announce that, indeed, the Lord has risen! The small flowers surrounding her in the background emphasize the contrast. While her face is marked by the turmoil of death, nature, in stark contrast, smiles indifferently, seemingly oblivious to death’s presence and unaffected by it. — Stamatis Skliris