In the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian on either side of the Lansdowne portrait of George Washington are arched niches
holding two large ceramic vases that are tall enough to carry a very large presence. These vases were on National and International News. In front of them and the painting of George Washington Nancy Pelosi held the press conference after the passage of the Health Care Bill by the House of Representatives. There must be some symbolic reasoning here.
Analyzing the body language of the vases they symbolize desirable law making. Their symmetry says balance. Their elongated bodies say law should buoy up the people. The shoulders are formed by hands that are pushing inward. The shoulders push the inner space inwards. They say laws should be stabilizing and add to balance. The shoulders are just above the heart meaning the laws should be made with a good heart. The neck says it is opening up and liberating. The glaze wafts in waves rising up in the chaos of smoke like the many differing desires of the people that are considered and buoyed upwards by legislation by the people.
Analyzing the relationship of the arches to the vases, The arches are far stronger like the arches of the Roman Aqueducts that carried life giving water to ceramic vessels that stored the water. The arches can also be compared to the structure of a temple or to the structure of a government and the vases can be the people under their own laws being buoyed up, stabilized, balanced with equality.
Vases like these are displayed in throne rooms like the Emperor of China's past. 1642 AD The "Great Fifth" Dalai Lama presented tow vases to the Manchu Qing Emperor of China to remind him of their common Buddhist religion in Manchuria. The vases replaced the traditional exchange of wives carried out to insure peace between two nations. So here in the National Gallery of Portraits the large vases places the United States as being an evolving government with stature. Or it could be interpreted as a religious symbol regarding the religious respect to nations of differing aspirations.
The portrait was also dignified presenting President Washington in a style befitting of a King only he was dressed like a well to do dignified citizen. The gesture of his hand addresses us and just below his hand is the goose feather pen and ink well used to sign laws and treaties. The painting was made at the end of his two terms of office. Stormy times were over and the future was bright with promise like the rainbow. There was some symbolism in choosing to have the news conference before these national treasures.
There was a controversial bill passed by the Senate today. The two arches holding the vases may be one for the House and one for the Senate. Or they might be interpreted as being the shape of the Ten Commandment Stones. I am not sure yet how I might paint these or sculpt them. Law is important and precious and could be a subject for my precious vase series.
I have never made a vase that closely resembles another work of another artist.