Painting: Princess Henrietta Maria by Anthony van Dyck
Poem was inspired by the image shown above. When I first saw the painting the first thing which popped into my head was Browning's "My Last Duchess"
It is meant to have a double meaning, as it is about both the image of itself and the way in which paintings can immortalize ones beauty and keep one ageless and yet the person remains trapped as this hallow image, which has no emotion of its own and it is also a play on the idea of beauty being skin deep.
But it is also meant as an expression of period in which the painting was produced was an era in which people and especially women were not expected or encouraged to express there true emotion, but were meant to keep that facade of poise and she must live as if indeed she were but a facade of herself, a living painting, while no one may find out what truly lies within her heart.