Gypsy's Travels

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"The Eyes" - An Explanation

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"The Eyes"
"The Eyes" were originally painted in 1928, during the time of Charles, the 9th Duke of Marlborough, and his 2nd wife, American-born Gladys Deacon. She pronounced her name "Glade - us."
There are 6 eyes, three blue and three brown. Each one fills a section of the panel in the roof of the portico at Blenheim Palace in England. Gladys' eyes are represented by the blue ones and the Dukes' are thought to be the brown ones. An analysis of a painting of the Duke in the Palace, reveals the Duke's left eye was brown and his right was brown with flecks of green and blue. It is said that the Duchess climbed the scaffold with a blue scarf the color of her eyes, for the painter to work from. No explanation is given of why the eyes were painted.
Over time, the gilded eyes were damaged by exposure and a leak in the portico roof. A restoration project was begun in December 2007, with a team of highly skilled builders and painter-decorators working almost 5 months until completion in April 2008.

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