Why Shahrazad

dulacShahrazad affirms and extends her life by telling stories. From a thousand and one tales, she gains health and longevity. Anecdotes lengthen her life day by day and eventually they become her salvation from death.

Art communicates stories. Do you agree that through its unveil of beauty, art, in all its forms and expression, is the same try to save its confessor? Even those who listen intently to it?

Edmund Dulac presents the contrast between Shahrazad and the King. Whereas, the King overpowers the scene in garments of rich texture and colour, in garb that covers in static, towering and dark figure, Shahrazad is naked and open. Her exposure represents helplessness, even unguardedness, but it is not submissive. Her clear skin reflects optimum health and appears to be where light enters and simultaneously exposes her. Shahrazad stares at the King directly. However, it is not a plea for mercy. Seemingly, she uses the magic of the word to entrance him by virtue of her craftiness at tale-telling.

The blog gets its name from the protagonist of The Thousand and One Nights. It is a metaphor for Shahrazad, in her delicate, precious and wise example. During these times, it is vital that we remain strong. There’s strength in her reveal. She reminds us of the saving power of art as she, like art, has many stories to interpret.

Dafne Castronovo
The English version of this article has been made possible thanks to the generous kindness and assistance of my  dear friend Karen Lewin-Hicks.

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