“La mariée était en noir (the bride wore black)” mixed media on paper, 6″ x 8″

La mariée était en noir. The bride wore black.
There is extensive history behind this picture. I will give the link to the site, that gives the thorough accounting of these brave people.
Which is the following and I highly encourage you to visit: https://equinoxio21.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/1916-the-bride-wore-black/
Here is a brief synopsis in the author’s own words:
“June 1916. Exactly a century ago. WWI had started two years before. Two years of massive slaughter. For nonsignificant gains in the front line in the north and northeast of France. My grandfather, Louis Prodault, his brothers, cousins and in-laws, had been fighting for two years now. Some had already fallen. Morts pour la France. Fallen for France. Some, like my grandmother’s little brother, Alexandre Després, in the first weeks of the war. More would die until the end, on November 11, 1918.
WWI death count reaches 9 million dead. Plus 8 million wounded. Maimed for life. France paid the highest price with 1.4 million dead. A significant number from Brittany, where my mother’s family comes from. There is a site, called “Mémoire des hommes” that scanned all the death certificates issued by the French army, between 1914 and 1918. A major effort. A few years back I was able to retrieve the certificates of most of my grandfather’s brothers or brother-in-laws. I understand that 6 to 8 brothers went to war, only my grandfather, Louis , and two of his brothers came back.
My mother, Renée, was born in 1926. Ten years later. She would tell me that as a child, all her aunts wore black. Their husbands, or fiancés had been killed at war. It was not uncommon then that a young woman whose fiancé has been killed in the trenches would never marry and wear black the rest of her life.”

I cannot describe the range of emotions that I felt as I drew this image, of the brides, the children, and the few men who had survived
this catastrophe of war. I thank Equinoxio for giving me the permission to do this intimate portrait of real people, who lived what I can
only imagine as nightmare, and did it with quiet grace. It is wonderful to draw an image that holds meaning.

31 replies »

  1. I am constantly amazed at the detail of your work especially considering the small size. It might be small in size but big on the details and artistry. The next war, WW2 was one reason my parents decided to come here. On hindsight it might have been a mistake.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Gerard. What is nice about working small, is that it allows me to thoroughly cover the area, and it is not a choir. I can be relaxed and work it. I have done that sort of attention to detail on pieces that are larger than doors, and that is exhausting. What gets me about this one, I was trying to get the emotional content of 40 human beings after a war.The little girls even wore black. The stupidity and senseless behavior of Monarchs decided to engage in WW1, sparked by an assassination, after that the whole idiocy of Hitler! The waste of life, rivers of blood shed, and soaked into the ground thru the trenches. I better stop rambling about this..So glad that you took a look at the image!

      Liked by 2 people

    • The least that I can do is tire my hands and arm to the point of pain, to give these folks a proper memorial for their sacrifices. Pressed down on the surface really really hard. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you so much Ted, on behalf of my family. 🙂 A century ago exactly. War was indeed still raging, yet there were weddings (with the bride wearing black). Of those 40 people (Wow! you counted them!) I only got to know my grandfather – in a dark unfirm in the centre- and his brother, Uncle Julien, the smart young man in a clear uniform to the left. And having known them, I can only confirm the words you so aptly put: they went (and fought) through war “with quiet grace”. Thank you again for this wonderful piece of human art.
    Brian

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I felt that, in a small way, I could honor the people who lived through that with drawing. I was pressing down on the paper so hard my arm and hand hurt. So I took a break, with my dog, went for a walk. And I thought of the stupidity of war, all the lives affected. Thinkin’ my arm hurts, then thinking, well those men in the trenches went through a lot more than just an arm ache. I really had an emotional time drawing the people. The more I drew, the more I realized. Like the little girls were in black too. That all in all only maybe 6 men in the image. Some of the girls looked like they knew what had happened, others looked just hurt and scared..

      Liked by 2 people

    • Surely was a tidal wave of feelings making that one..I have taken a few days off of visual art, after it. Been goofing around and doing music, instead. I ran out and got more art supplies, I was running out of pink, peach, and white. So now I am stocked up again in more ways than one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank! I think it would take a squad of engineers from NASA, to figure out the secrets of my sleep schedule! Just woke now, a smile graced my face upon reading this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Glad I made you smile Ted. Your art has the same effect on me. I was waking up every two hours for months before I went to see a sleep specialist. Apparently all part of EDS. He fixed me up without sleeping tablets. I think I love him. 😆😆

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have been thinking about this comment for a day or so now. Yeah, I know insomnia, and then the long term consequences of that for me, can be psychosis. Scary thing. One can only ride that out so long. Saying to myself,”yeah, it’s okay it’s okay..” Then it isn’t, ya know? Here is a strange thing to.. I have been asking myself, What is my Purpose? If my Purpose in Life is Who I am? If I am not what I do (art and music) and also, if I am not any of the illnesses that I have. Perhaps my purpose, is just to share the beauty I see in living. I dunno.. I think about strange things like this sometimes…

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are awesome. A good friend of mine uses his music to get to a level where he can ‘wake up’ the masses and get them to think, live, be happy. That is his purpose.

        Liked by 1 person

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