My work on this new painting made me want to look through a book on Pontormo by Salvatore S. Nigro to examine figure compositions. I was struck by the conveyance of silence found throughout the works. The silence is in the formal compositions of the paintings themselves and in the time and attention it requires to examine them. In The Visitations we see the saints communicating through glances. Even in a painting that would logically contain noise conveyed through screams we see dignity in silence. In Eleven Thousand Martyrs only three figures have opened mouths and their heads and bodies are shown with care and delicacy; they symbolize suffering nobly endured. No screams these, only loud sighs emanate from their lips. The viewer sees these images of pain and we are forced to contemplate them in silence, as befits their locations in churches, monasteries and hospitals. No unnecessary or necessary sounds, only the subjects’ and the viewers’ thoughts ricocheting back and forth, one to another. I hope to achieve something of this, one of the many beautiful aspects of Pontormo’s works, in my new painting, which is coming along (detail below) With this terribly warm and humid weather, I will have to reserve my painting times to early mornings and evenings, so I have enough ventilation in my studio.