Fiesta in Muros de San Pedro

Fiesta in Muros de San Pedro – Oil on canvas – 30 x 44 inches.

When the Romans reached the Atlantic Ocean, the western edge of their expansion into Spain, they called the peninsula, “finis terrae,” the end of the earth. Muros is a beautiful harbor town only a few miles to the south, and like many fishing ports, its patron saint is Peter the Apostle. Every year at the end of June, the inhabitants celebrate the saint’s feast day with concerts, masses, a parade, fireworks and dances.

If I had painted the fiesta “realistically,” this couple would be surrounded by dozens of other dancers. But I subtracted everyone else to emphasize the beautiful feeling that when we dance with someone we love deeply, we often feel that we are the only two people that exist in this world. These lovers could be holding each other anywhere, but at the moment, they know they are alone and dancing at the end of the earth.

The only other couple is the little girl, who is fascinated by the musicians, and the boy who ignores her to play his air guitar. Perhaps they are younger versions of the lovers. Perhaps they too will one day dance together and feel that they are in love, deeply, here in a fiesta at the end of the earth.

More images and reflections on my website: johnmichaelkeating.com

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One thought to “Fiesta in Muros de San Pedro”

  1. Formally there are two great spaces in this painting: the vast sky above and the matching expansive decking below. Twilight above, greyness below; the heavens and earth. And wedged in between the lovers dance; the band plays on, the lights of the “fiesta” shine out, and the two youngsters harken to the future. Meanwhile, the crane, ubiquitous national bird of Spain at the time, reminds us that this is all quite real, no idealization, where cranes get painted out. Heaven and earth, lovers and children, saxophones and tambourine, the makeshift ladder, the calculated fiesta lights and theatrical stage. It’s all quite real, quite here and now and also quite forever.

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