Exquisite artwork based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

“Twelfth Night” painting by Maike Edling, from ArtStation.com

I want to give a shout-out to artist Maike Edling, who painted this beautiful rendition of Anne Hathaway (the actress, not Shakespeare’s wife), playing Viola in Twelfth Night at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The colors and the long brush strokes remind me of Cezanne and other early impressionists and give a kind of chaotic feel (appropriate for such a chaotic love triangle). Also, the choice to show Olivia kissing Viola while Orsino looks sadly on is not only passionate and vibrant, it sums up in one image the central conflict of the play: how will Viola deal with the fact that she loves a man, but is pursued by a woman?

Close up of the painting.

I also love the ambiguity of Viola’s expression. She’s looking at Olivia, but her lips don’t quite touch, as if she’s thinking, “This feels weird, but…” It highlights the flirtation with gender norms and questioning heteronormativity that every production of “Twelfth Night” must address. All in all, I think it is an excellent depiction of the characters, themes and ideas of “Twelfth Night,” and if you can, you should patronize her work. I found this painting at https://www.artstation.com/artwork/ELEEAv, and I think it should get more views.

3 thoughts on “Exquisite artwork based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

  1. Damn! I stumbled across this on accident! I’m Maike and the painter behind this piece. This is a big honor, it’s the first article written about me 🙂

    Like

  2. Damn! I stumbled across this on accident! I’m Maike and the painter behind this piece. This is a big honor, it’s the first article written about me 🙂

    Like

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