The subject of this ‘portrait’ is unknown.
The artist has placed the subject’s trophy, or shield and mask like face, as the central focus of the painting. Most faces are mask like in many of the artist’s other ‘people’ paintings. There are similarities between this painting Morning Angel and Allison, where the frilled neckline of the dresses in both paintings help shape their frames.
This lady is carrying a fan, and that along with the jug and the yellow face, gives an Oriental feel to the painting. Her eyes are unsmiling as are her lips. Both the cross and the red lips on the jug (symbols), in this painting, appear in many others that the artist has created. Lips are important to both verbal and non-verbal communication, and whilst the woman’s lips are not expressive, the ones on the jug are.
The large blue-green, coloured backdrop highlights the face and does not cause any distractions. The paint has been applied smoothly and the painting is quite textured. The two main colours of blue and yellow are primary colours on the colour wheel, and their combination results in green. The use of these colours creates harmony in the painting.
Perhaps the artist’s earlier studies of Dali’s art have influenced his ‘message’ here. Perhaps, in this painting, the artist is suggesting that some men see women as ‘trophies’, or that a woman’s face does not express her internal feelings because she ‘shields’ herself from events happening around her. Matisse, the Fauvist painter also painted Madame Matisse as having a shield like face. However, the lack of facial tone in this painting means that the painting looks quite flat. (See Portrait of Madame Matisse, 1905.)
Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed.