Monday, 2 May 2011

The King of Bristol

When I was a nipper my father gave me a book of The World's Greatest Paintings.
I still have it.
On page 52 is a picture of a king staring at a girl dressed in a simple leather dress.
It's hard to tell what he's thinking although the explanatory text tells us that he has chosen her, a simple beggar maid, as his wife over all the finest ladies of the land.
King Cophetua and the beggar maid, by Sir Edward Burne Jones.
It's a haunting image, full of Victorian charity, sentiment and chivalric charm.
The story of a monarch who defied all convention for love, truth and beauty, kneeling in supplication before the woman who has captured his heart.
It just wouldn't wash these days; the idea of royalty stepping aside so all the world could marvel at the beauty of his common born love as she steps forward into the limelight.
Or could it...

I like to feel that there is enough romanticism left to allow for the simple joy of infatuation to find its place without the cold touch of reason blighting its brief moment in the sun.

I just thought it might be fun to take that thought and plant it in a modern setting.

Bristol has staked its claim in the art world thanks to artists who are capable of painting faster than policemen can run.
We should be proud of their courage, wit and elusiveness, but theirs is not the whole story.

Within the city there are still romantic heroes and femme fatales, princes and princesses of style, charm and delight who daily present a vision of our city's artistry that has nothing to do with spraycans.

My thanks to Andy (Psycho) for being the perfect subject.

Rarely do you meet someone who looks, sounds and proves to be a perfect gentleman.