Thaïs, Egyptian acolyte of the goddess Hathor, an opera by Massenet
This picture had its beginnings back in 2013, but was not completed till 2023. I was listening to Jules Massenet’s evocative Méditation when I wondered what the opera Thaïs from which it derives, was about. On discovering that the setting was ancient Egypt I set out to find a location that could be construed as Egyptian and came up with this ten year old shoot at the entrance to the Roman tunnel beneath Castel Gandolfo near Rome. To complete the Egyptian illusion I added the two sphinxes from another unused shoot from 2015. Thaïs is wearing the bull-horned head dress of Hathor.
Thais on the couch with the monk who desires to convert her to Christianity, but ends up desiring her carnally instead. It all ends unhappily ever after.
For a backstage account of the making of this picture and a short video click here