Friday, October 19, 2012

To be Desired

"In the Louvre in Paris there is a Bathsheba painted by him (William Drost, Rembrandt's disciple) which echoes Rembrandt's painting of the same object painted in the same year.

She is not looking at the spectator. She is looking hard at a man she desired, imagining him as her lover. This man could only have been Drost. The only thing we know for certain about Drost is that he was desired precisely by this woman.

I was reminded of something of which one is not usually reminded in museums. To be so desired - if the desire is also reciprocal - renders the one who is desired fearless. No suit of armour from the galleries downstairs ever offered, when worn, a comparable sense of protection. To be desired is perhaps the closest anybody can reach in his life to feeling immortal."

Page 26, 'Bento's Sketchbook', John Berger

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