Shirley Temple, The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of the Cinema in Her Time
The painting depicts the child star Shirley Temple as a sphinx. Shirley Temple’s head, taken from a newspaper photograph, is superimposed on the body of a red lioness with breasts and white claws. On top of the head is a vampire bat. Surrounding the sphinx are a human skull and other bones, suggesting her latest kill. At the bottom of the painting is a trompe-l'œil label that reads: “Shirley!. at last in Technicolor.” The painting has been described as a satire on the sexualization of child stars by Hollywood.
Interior with a Woman Playing a Virginal (c.1660-1667). Emanuel de Witte (Dutch, 1617-1692). Oil on canvas. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
The complicated spatial construction is achieved by the perspective and the patches of sunlight coming in. It seems as if an amorous situation is being depicted. Playing the instrument is explained as a reference to love. It is also thought that the man in bed, who is listening to the music, is suffering from a disease, namely erotic melancholy, and the music is a medicine against the pain.