Have a pair of dark, sultry eyes ever stopped you in your tracks? Made you gasp for breath and rendered you speechless? That was my experience when I visited Edinburgh’s Scottish National gallery several years ago. Instantly, I fell in love with Miss Gertrude Vernon.
Her true marital title was Lady Agnew of Lochnaw and my reaction was in response to her suggestive stare from her elevated position. I froze and out stared her alluring gaze causing a back log on the gallery’s staircase. Seriously, I did.
What’s not like about this beauty? Smouldering dark looks, casual yet conscious pose, a bloom of femininity yet a flash of defiance. What more could a woman desire in life!
Much like Perryman’s ‘Mahler Experience’ this painting has the power to hold my attention, which others fail to do. I can’t explain how she speak to me, but that stare captivates me.
Like many passions in my life, I’ve done my homework about Singer Sargent’s masterpiece and have read her back story. I tussle with her status, her privileged life and possibly her contentment as a martial possession. One thing I can’t argue with, or dearly hope, is that our Lady Agnew’s knowing smile and sultry gaze hopefully hints at her darkest secret.