A Modern Vittoria Colonna

Listing No: 10440

Other Images

  • CSODE-23236 recto by BB.JPG
  • CSODE-23236 c by BB.JPG
  • CSODE-23236 d by BB.JPG
  • CSODE-23236 verso by BB.JPG

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Offered By

Valley House Gallery

Dallas, TX

Valley House Gallery

6616 Spring Valley Road

Dallas, TX 75254

[email protected]

Please have the item listing number on hand when you call. This artwork's listing number is: 10440

Artwork Info

FAE Listing No:
Ellen Soderquist (1945-)
A Modern Vittoria Colonna
Date of Work:
"Soderquist © 87" at center right
Where Produced:
Dallas, Texas

Artwork Medium

on Paper
Medium Notes:
graphite and gouache on Herculene

Artwork Size & Weight

8.5 x 11 in. (Paper Size)

Artwork Condition


Artwork Provenance

This artwork comes directly from the artist

About this Piece

This drawing is from the “Vittoria Colonna” series executed by Soderquist in and around 1982. Vittoria Colonna is a Renaissance Italian poet who was known, not only for her poetry, but for her personality and the famous people with which she associated at the time, including Michelangelo to whom she was a muse.

Artist Note:
Michelangelo / Vittoria Colonna and Immortality
Michelangelo even suggested to the female Renaissance poet, Vittoria Colonna, that he could procure immortality for the both of them through sculpting or painting their likeness. Although Vittoria Colonna refused Michelangelo’s offer of immortality, the following letter to Colonna eloquently pleads his case:

How can it be, noble lady, that a living image carved in rocky stone can live longer than its maker, who is so soon struck down by death?”

Perhaps I may give the two of us a long life, either in colors, or in marble, by reproducing our love and our faces; so that a thousand years after our disappearance, people will see how beautiful you were, how I loved you, and why I was not mad in loving you.

About the Artist

Ellen Soderquist

Artist’s Statement

Since 1979 I have been a studio artist, a teacher of life drawing and an advocate for
the nude in contemporary art. As an artist, l create intelligent and sensuous graphite
drawings of the human body. The nude has been a constant in my work since 1963; it is
my art form; and drawing is the primary technique for my expression of ideas. As a
teacher of life drawing, l advocate that my students learn the role of the nude in the
history of art and that they communicate their ideas about humanity through their work.
As a lecturer and an author, I bring the complex relevance of the unclothed human body
to the consciousness of contemporary culture.

In my freshman drawing class at SMU, we were taught life drawing as a discipline;
however, l was aware that the nude meant much more than that to me. As I laid down
the stick of charcoal after making my first gesture drawing of a nude model, I was
hooked. There was, in the flurry of charcoal on the surface of the newsprint, Somebody
looking back at me. After l discovered Kenneth Clark’s book, "The Nude: A Search for
Ideal Form," in which he stated that the nude is “not the subject of art, but a form of art” I
worked for decades to develop a technique that begins with a mass or scribble gesture
drawing that moves through abstracted forms to a tangible essence of humanity. In
numerous series of artwork, l have pursued a conceptual itinerary that spans the gamut
of human emotions and relationships and l have explored contemporary attitudes about
the nude as well as those of other cultures throughout the history of art.

Recently a reviewer described my drawings as “highly developed…elegant and
provocative." I strive to create an individual who is present for the viewer.

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