Suzanne Willis’s story “A Nightingale’s Map of the City” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 10 February 2017.
In 2014, my partner and I travelled to Europe and visited Vienna. Aside from being an amazing city with incredible culture, I was blown away by how visually stunning the city is, especially the architecture. I remember making a comment as we wandered the streets that it was like a city made for giants; the buildings, the palaces, the statues are all so quietly imposing.
Vienna was also the home of my favourite artist, Gustav Klimt. Visiting the Belvedere Palace, the Secession Building and other wonderful museums left my mind full of the images of the beautiful women that Klimt painted with such love and reverence. Then I began to think about those women and how their lives might have been superseded by the images that the artist created of them. Such art must be underpinned by love, but is there a point that the artist loves the images, the art itself, more than the person who inspired them? When does what she represents to him as his muse overtake who she is as a person in her own right? And does the artist ever regret or rue what might have been, had the art, the beauty, the passion to create, taken a back seat to woman he loved?
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