Branstner's painting is placed to set up a dialogue between it and a work below, The Tempest, by Albert Pinkham Ryder. While both paintings contain similar visual elements such as figures related to landscapes with skies and water, there is also a commonality of content.
According to Branstner her work "is about making painful choices in life in order to achieve growth and ultimately grace." The artist sees a similar theme in Ryder's evocation of a play by Shakespeare. There the figure of Prospero- unleashing his powers to teach lessons to the occupants of an unseen ship-is a metaphor for redemption.
Comparing the two works underscores Branstner's contem-porary point of view. Allusions to a literary text was a common practice among 19th-century American artists. Branstner's work, on the other hand, comes from personally developed imagery.
Courtesy of Lemberg Gallery
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