Veronica p.s.

April 2, 2010  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

This morning I received an interesting note from Julian Myers concerning the name Veronica:

My dictionary tells me that the name, Veronica, is from Greek: pherein nike (she who brings victory), which leads me instantly here:

Unknown, _Nike of Samothrace (Winged Victory of Samothrace),_ c. 220-190 BCE

This puts an exciting new spin on DeFeo’s painting—and Nike’s transhuman wings are so perfect for the way I was seeing The Veronica.

In my (over)researching for this post, I came across various meanings for “veronica.” A spiky blue flower. A bullfighting maneuver in which the sweep of the bullfighter’s cape mimics St. Veronica’s gesture in wiping Christ’s face. Some say there never was a St. Veronica, that “Veronica” comes from vera (true) and icon (image), that vera + icon means true image and is the cloth itself that Christ’s face reputedly appeared on. Others say that vera + icon is an unlikely commingling of Latin and Greek, pure bunk. But I never came across this Nike association. This is why we need art historians. Thank you Julian!

1 Comment

  1. Vance Maverick Says:

    Very cool, a good visual / gestural match.

    Did you consider the Veronica of the comics? Probably the definite article in DeFeo’s title rules that association out, though (not to mention DeFeo’s general lack of affinity for pop).

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