In the symbolism of numbers, when we consider 3 elements, 2 of them always have a common point that does not exist in the third. It is possible that this third, different element, in turn, has another point in common with one of the two preceding elements, thus excluding from their union the other which then takes on the function of the third different. This idea is true and applies throughout the manifested world, especially in nuclear physics. In truth, the one that takes the function of the different is numbered first and the other two second and third, but this is metaphysical. Here, there are 3 female archetypes, 2 positive and 1 negative, in relation to the men they influenced.
Elsa von Brabant
The first archetype of the triptych represents Elsa von Brabant, a figure of the legend of the Grail. Joukhadar chose the moment of the first glance between Elsa and Lohengrin. He wanted to show in particular modesty, restraint and dignity in the manifestation of feelings. No definable expression disturbs the cold and dazzling beauty of this Germanic face, but rather an interiority which an expert eye can detect. There is at the same time mistrust, doubt, admiration and tenderness.
The second in the series of the Three Archetypes represents Beatrice, the famous figure of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Joukhadar chose the moment when, at the end of the Divine Comedy, Beatrice leaves Dante, goes to the fountain of eternity, then turns and smiles at him gradually disappearing. For Joukhadar, ‘it is very Leonardesque.’
“sorrise e riguardommi poi si torn a l’etterna fontana.”
DANTE. Canto XXXI, Paradiso, The Divine Comedy.
The third in the series of the Three Archetypes represents Roxelane, a famous figure who changed the course of history. Joukhadar chose the decisive moment of the first night of Roxelane with the Sultan. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she has a mission to accomplish; before her, Suleiman, the mortal enemy she must conquer. Exchange of looks, challenge: who will lower the eyes first? She holds her ground, enjoys this moment of embarrassment, sustained by the hatred which multiplies her strength of character. Lips clenched, concentrated, determined, she almost smiles. The sheets seem to be able to tear under her hand. She wins: he looks down, auspicious sign. Now it is she who dominates.