La Duda (Doubt)

La Duda (Doubt)
Facing the imminent and definitive commitment of a wedding celebration, there occur shameful thoughts and emotions within the most hidden depths of a woman on the verge of marriage that, even though not a heritage of the feminine world, do indeed reach in her their greatest and most heart rendering expression. Their social and economic disadvantages compared to men in different cultures and societies throughout history have deprived her and, even today, starve her of that first and most essential of all liberties: internal freedom, placing added value upon the sequence of these intimate moments which I have sought to capture in this portrait. The vision of some events that have followed one another over the course of my life, along with the impact stirred within me even being rather young, by reading the works of Granada’s world renowned poet and dramatist, Federico Garcia Lorca, who died tragically during the early days of the Spanish Civil War, drove me to the conception of this work.
In Lorca’s southern characters one perceives a Spain brought down to its ultimate consequences. I extracted the details from the Bride character in his play Bodas de Sangre (Blooded Weddings) to recreate the intimacy of these moments.
However the figure in the painting does not appear nailed in Lorca’ scene of a Granada cave as describes by the poet, but rather in the bedroom of an Andalusian mansion located on Calle Santa Ana, in Seville’ San Lorenzo district where I grew up. This building, like so many others distributed throughout not only my city, but all of Andalusia, respresents the modus vivendi of certain families on a higher social and economic plateau, which led me to think that this was the right place to develop my idea, in addition to the ties of close friendship that linked me to the inhabitants of this house and laid out my life of captivating memories, memories which still imbue me with a tremendous and profound nostalgia.
Those walls, now long gone, bore mute witness to the history of several generations, even down unto my own. Now a mysterious lot full of ruins emerges from between the cracks in the raised mud walls which once were magnificent stately windows and balconies that exuded essences which still survive in my memory, essences of a time that is now gone.
From these words my most moving memories and gratitude to Justina Llosent Torres, now gone on to her reward, for her cooperation in bringing about this work, because she not only lent me her house, but also provided me with slips for dressing up the model, a familiar memory of enormous value to her. Thank you for the faith and affection that you put into my project.
To the unforgettable Maria de los Reyes Olalla who also, unfortunately, is no longer among us, who looked through her trunks for the black 1900s wedding gown needed as a prop. Also, of course, to the brothers Barreto, who so masterfully wove for me the crown of orange blossoms against the clock, making the recently cut sprigs that I brought them into a work of art. Thank you for your generosity and fine efforts.
Now I smile when I remember that day, stairs in hand, a sea of rain, pruning the orange blossoms from the streets to obtain the long sought and ephemeral orange blossom awaited for months, which that rain was on the point of destroying.
To Rosa Vives, who accepted the role as my model and posed for me out of the kindness of her heart with an artistic sensitivity that made us sisters.
And finally, to Maria del Carmen Gutierrez Llamas, my mother, for whom I feel the greatest debt for whatever I have and whoever I am.
My sensitivity towards all women who have been, are and will be brides, with which I wish them that they do not get to finish their dream and, above all, with those who have taken the step to become loving companions or spouses, who have suffered and still suffer the disappointment and cruelty that it costs them, even unto life. To them I dedicate the meaning of this work from the bottom of my heart.

Maria José Aguilar Gutierrez