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Perdita and Hermione 

Loss of integrity 

This painting represents my vision of the visceral relationship between Perdita and Hermione , two key figures in Shakespeare's famous tragicomedy.


The story of Perdita and Hermione is a story of Abandonment.

Suspected of adultery and accused of carrying the child of her infidelity, Hermione is imprisoned by order of her husband Léonte, King of Sicily.

In prison, Hermione gives birth to little Perdita. By Léonte's disposition, Perdita is abandoned on a distant shore. She will be found and brought up by a shepherd and his son.

After a long series of events, sixteen years later, finally Hermione and Perdita meet again.


The Hermione - Perdita relationship becomes so much more interesting if we take into account several reading possibilities: mother-daughter relationship, woman- inner child relationship where the mother and the daughter constitute two parts of the psyche of the same woman.


Shakespeare has always been very meticulous in choosing the first names of his characters.

In his day, the historical and cultural context was influenced by alchemy, magic and Hermetic philosophy, which is why names were often chosen for their magical or favorable significance.

Knowing someone's name meant knowing that person's life path and soul attributes.

"Perdita" - in Latin - is the past participle of the passive verb PERDO (perdo, perdis, perdidi, perditum, perdere) which means to lose, to destroy, to make unhappy but also to make weak, to spoil, to waste ...

The first name "Hermione" comes from the German "Irmin" which means "very big", "majestic. "

Hermione "is also related to the first name Hérmes, Greek divinity, messenger of Olympus, god of travelers, commerce and shepherds.

It is not by chance that Shakespeare will make Perdita grow up in a community of shepherds, by enriching the symbolic links between the two characters and their first names: on the one hand majesty, the divinity of the shepherds, the mother, the king's court. , the "civilized" world, on the other side the peasant woman, the shepherdess, the girl, the bucolic nature and the wild world.

If we consider the two characters as the symbolic representation of two facets of the same person, the savage separated from consciousness leads to an unbalanced existence. Or, without the wild, childish, pure and authentic part, royalty cannot exist.

The individual of integrity is powerful. One has access to the totality of one's own power and happiness only in taking charge of the inner child and his natural, authentic, free power.

In the Winter's tale we therefore witness the healing of the inner child and the crowning of the sovereignty of the adult being.

By returning to the court of Léonte, her father, Perdita finds her royal origins. She rediscovers the splendor of her womb, of her "divine" and majestic "Hermione" mother.

In The Winter's Tale, Hermione dies of grief right after Perdita's rearing.

Upon Perdita's return, Hermione resuscitates just like the splendor of all those who find and reunite with their Healed and Beloved Inner child.



I painted this picture urgently. I felt the tear of abandonment between these two Beings. Between Mother and Daughter. Between Woman and Inner Child and I wanted to quickly place it on the canvas with the very dense pigments and strong contrasts to inspire the acute feeling of despair.

As with all the sacrificial and sacrificed Shakespearean women I have painted, Hermione's left eye is blinded, as it is dependent on the right hemisphere: creative, emotional, feminine.

Perdita and Hermione's dresses are drenched in blood flowing from their hearts in "tears" struck to death by the separation imposed by a mad and at the same time too rational man (Leonte).

It is enough for him to see Hermione who laughs with Polixenes, a kind of 1 + 1 = 2, to get crazy. An obsessive suspicion that suddenly becomes the certainty of betrayal.

Yet the real traitor is Léonte, who lacks self-love, and therefore self-confidence, in his own perceptions of reality. He lacks flexibility, listening, confidence and love towards Hermione. Léonte is the deaf Masculine who wounds two hearts in one blow.

A Double Identity Wound: for Hermione as a woman and as a mother, for Perdita, deprived of her true place, her identity, the deep and nurturing bond with her mother, this is a very complex wound which is nevertheless cured by the Bucolic Nature where it will have the chance to grow.

In all identity wounds, there is a sexual wound because it affects the pleasure of being oneself, the pleasure of creating one's own life, of following one's true desires: the vital impetus and the creative energy are the same energy.

Once I finished the painting, I noticed that the two bloody robes formed like a kind of common space. I saw a Bloody Vulva there. A single Vulva, as if Perdita has just come out and the blood of her birth was already mixing with the blood of death. And also a wound that condemns the pure pleasure of existing.

I thought of the Patriarchate, the violence and atrocities of which Shakespeare has always emphasized. This bloody Vulva therefore symbolizes the wound of the Patriarchate towards many women, towards the Feminine as body / sensations / true deep unique and unpredictable, indomitable emotions.

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