About four years ago I read an article in the paper about Robert Schumann, the classical composer. The article resumed his life. I learned he was married to a virtuoso pianist, Clara wieck. That she was the daughter of his piano teacher, Frederich Wieck. But when Robert and Clara declared their love to one another, their union was not welcomed at all by Clara’s father. As a virtuoso pianist, she was making a lot of money which constituted a big part of her father’s fortune. So Robert was banished from seeing Clara. And for 4 years they exchanged love letters, hoping one day they would be able to marry. After a long legal battle, the judge ruled in favour of Robert and Clara and they could finally marry. But their life does not get so simple as Robert suffered from some disorder, where he would get very melancholic and depressive. He tried to commit suicide and was then admitted in an asylum where he died two years later.
Their story stuck with me. First, I could not believe that I had never heard he was married to such a great pianist. And I thought it was too bad we always hear about the men and not so much about the women. And I felt as if they were inseparable. If we were to talk about Robert, we should think about Clara.
Also I “loved” their love story. The fact that they wrote letters for four years. That they had to go to court. The struggle.
And so I had this idea of a huge painting series celebrating their work and their life together.
I felt inspired.
The journey started there. I decided to build 4 series of paintings like a symphony that would have four movements. Each series would represent an episode of their life together. Each series, like a symphony, has it’s own tempo and format. Each one is also linked to a musical piece written by Robert Schumann. At the opening shows, the related musical pieces will be played. The opening shows are meant to be a celebration of his / their work at the same time.
I am now working on the first movement of this series. I will finish this first movement in November 2014. So the work you see posted here is related to that first series.