Unrepentant Geraldines

Friday 2 May 2014, by Cécile Desbrun

"Last year I discovered an etching by Daniel Maclise, who was a 19th century Irish artist of a penitent woman called ’Geraldine.’ A painter friend of mine showed it to me. He told me I needed to have this painting on my wall. When I saw it, it reminded me of the ’Repentant Magdalene’ paintings of Seghers, de la Tour and Titian and what women have had to go through, over the centuries, and how women’s sexuality has been judged and shamed.

"I began thinking about religion and the world and the 21st century, and if most women can honestly say they feel that their spiritual and secular aspects are completely integrated. The women I have spoken with in many countries have spoken to me about compartments and that their spiritual self is in one drawer protected from their sexual self which lives in its own detached realm. There has to be a way where we as women can integrate our spiritual self and our passionate self that is harmonious." (Mercury Classics Press Release, March 2014))