Amidst the brilliantly coloured background of the present work, the masculine face at the centre of the image represents the Serenity of Faith and acts as the nucleus of the various forms which radiate off it, all with highly symbolic associations. At either side of the circle the Hermaphrodite and the Sleeping Fetus face each other, whilst Heterosexual Anguish, Without Time and Hallucinogenic Embrace hover at the upper centre. Further layers of allusion are referenced by the inclusion of a self-portrait within each of these apparitions – suggestive, perhaps, of the artist’s multifaceted and complex emotional state. Angelic forms hover at the edges, representative of Mystical Exaltation, Divine Word and Transfiguration. In 1974 the original owner of this work, Swiss publisher Jacques Carpentier, published a suite of fourteen lithographs depicting scenes taken from La Pietà.
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