The Portrait Painter 1603
Four hundred years ago they steadied
their gaze for him, the unknown painter.
Twelve subjects in Gloucester. In Norwich,
twenty more sat for his measured stare.
In ruffled shirts and beaded gowns,
quill in hand, coat of arms on the
periphery. Vanity now lost to dust.
But not the wondering eye, the dun
palette singing in the gallery, travelling
artist lowered to base commissions. Did
he sympathize about the late spring as
he mixed the cinnabar and orpiment?
Did he ask after sons and daughters?
Did he work in silence, mindful of his rank?
No matter, the unseen hand still moves
in raw brush strokes like fingers, eyes
pooling warm tears of recognition.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy
Bruce's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience with successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013).