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Path to Paradise: panel X

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A Play About Snakes

2013
27 x 52 in. (68.6 x 132.1 cm)

Judith Schaechter
American

Object Type: Glass
Medium and Support: Stained-glass panel
Credit Line: Collection of Dr. Laurence and Rita Sibrack (Danbury, CT and Naples, FL)
Accession Number: EX2020.DG1.64
Link to this object
Location: Currently away on loan

While tooling around online, Schaechter found a satirical 1599 engraving that delighted her and inspired A Play About Snakes, a work she describes as “a giant celebration of obsessive and compulsive craziness.” In the historical print, the corruption of the Catholic papacy is represented by a pyramid of entwined serpents in which the largest snake wears the papal crown.

For her snakes, Schaechter looked to eighteenth-century field guide images of snakes. She used Photoshop to pull out the snakes she liked, and she designed her own intertwined and repeating pattern, like that of a Celtic knot or a print by M. C. Escher, an artist she admires. When her pattern was complete, she printed the image and redrew every snake in black and white. After a few more steps of image manipulation, she translated it into color as she selected and engraved the layers of glass.

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