The Canvas – Dans une ville de campagne à Alger by Frederick Arthur Bridgman

Dans une ville de campagne à Alger by Frederick Arthur Bridgman (Via Sotheby’s)

In the intimacy of a riad in Casablanca, the princess weaves.

She entwines sumptuous colours into the bland canvas. Staring at her work, she dreams of wild escapes and glamourous sprees to countries she only pictured in her mind. Cloistered in between four walls, the princess barely leaves home. Surrounded by servants and maids, she speaks with them of an impossible life outside her golden cage. Clothed in the most expensive fabrics, wearing the most radiant precious stones, she wanders the riad with melancholy and spite.

The fountain’s runoff rocks her agitated spirit and soothes her temper. The multi-coloured threads she weaves with her frail fingers are the landscapes inhabiting her soul. The canvas is filled with hills of green grass, infinite surfaces of azure water, and drifts of white domes. She closes her eyes and she transports herself to Rome, Greece, and Mexico. She uses her imagination to voyage across the earth and step onto foreign grounds she has never seen before. When she opens her eyes, tears run down her crimson cheeks, adding to her innocent beauty vehemence and determination.

In the intimacy of a riad in Casablanca, the princess’ vision is hopeful, she believes that one day she will be free, able to step outside, and see the world.

Listen while reading: Veil dance by Omar Khorshid 

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