At the National Art Museum in Copenhagen I was deeply touched by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s painting of ‘Latinus offering his daughter Lavinia to Aeneas in matrimony’. The painting, from 1753, of a proud, independent woman facing her fate. How far we have come and how far we have still to go.
Proud neck turned away.
Your sire’s self-satisfied smile
contradicts the crease on his brow.
Your eyes half closed consider shrinking options.
On bended knee the warrior pleads,
lions upon his shoulders.
Behind you, solid pillars.
isolated as they crowd.
They have all power,
but still desire your graceful surrender.
Your proud neck turned away,
cold shackles tighten.