Xénai. Penthesilea.

Penthesilea is the second painting of the series Xénai, a project about extraneity and about the possibility to find affinities in it. You can read more about the reasons which moved me to it here or see all the pictures here.

Penthesilea. Kurdistan.

(Oil on canvas, 50 x 30 cm, 2016)

Penthesilea was in Greek mithology the Queen of the Amazones, leader of a women’s army, which she eventually led to the Trojan War in an attempt to help King Priamos fighting back the Greeks. Still following the ancient myths, there she got killed by a weirdly enamoured Achilles, a death that led to several different versions of the story (included a necrophil ending) as you can read here. Several ancient texts related to Penthesilea are at this link.

In 1808 Heinrich von Kleist wrote Penthesilea, a very dicussed play which among other things turns over the events, letting Penthesilea fall in love with Achilles, though finally kill him. On the little paper strip glued onto the canvas, as for Kassandra, I put her first words in the play: “Nichts vom Triumph mir! Nichts vom Rosenfeste!”, that means (more or less) “None of Triumph to me! None of Roses’ Feasts!”, the Roses’ Feast being meant for winning a man in fight. Goehte rejected Kleist’s play as “unplayable”: well, I suggest you to read it, anyway.

As for the reference in the painting’s title, I think I do not have to say much about Kurdish female fighters being in many different perspectives a sort of modern Amazones. My painting shall be dedicated to every of them.

Penthesilea. Kurdistan - detail


Roberta Cortese, Penthesilea vs. Achilles, 2nd price at Premio Fersen 2007, Editoria&Spettacolo Napoli, 2008.
Homer, Iliad.
Heinrich von Kleist, Penthesilea, 1808.


1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on yamunin and commented:
    un bel progetto di Roberta Cortese di cui Pentesilea è il secondo dipinto. I muri di casa accolgono i visi di donne combattenti.

    “Creare è resistere”
    Gilles Deleuze

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