Looking for Scheherazade


After reading Scheherazade Goes West by Mernissi, I began looking for her in the art museum in Madrid to see if the East and West perhaps could reconcile their images of beauty. No such luck! I did, however, find portraits of a lavishly clad royal family in Spain. There were also incredibly detailed and well adored paintings of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Joseph, various Saints, and other Catholic icons, expressed in a variety of different mediums. One of the styles of painting that most impressed me was by Goya and that was his Black Art, renditions of various satanic scenes which he painted during a particularly dark time in his life. The museum was breathtaking as a whole, and the details of the various portraits and paintings thoroughly impressed me. Although I did not succeed in finding Scheherazade, I was impressed with the Spanish art and would consider visiting other European art museums. However, the truth is, it seems very few cultures capture the female fully in all her splendor as do the Arabic people, with their mystical female icons and glorious warrior queens.


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