Conceived as a sort of triptych concentrated on a single canvas, 2nd version poses existential questions and reserves many surprises.
The Pope in the curled-up position of Innocent X is installed in a circular environment as if seated over a turntable. The room is closed with two lateral curvilinear mirrors offering a mystery of reflection that may remind the Menines by Velazquez. The mirror on the right brings the recognizable figure of Francis' lover, George Dyer.
The scene is an impossible encounter between the two characters. Each one embodies both good and evil. The old Pope does not master the responsibilities of his function of which he is nevertheless the sole representative. The ordinary man with a troubled past has become the supreme idol in the life of Francis.
The rotating Pope has reached a position where he cannot see George. On the opposite George tries to establish a communication and raises his hand to the reflection of the string of an out of field bell or light.
George committed suicide six months later in Paris while Francis was preparing in that city the great exhibition which consecrated him as a major artist of his time. The traumatized Francis will no longer need a pope. The ghost of George will henceforth secure the mystery of spirit and flesh.
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