"I Know All Except Myself"
These are the poetic words of the 15th century French poet François Villon, an alluring character who lived during the waning years of the middle ages. His vagabond life style amongst the outcasts of Paris matched his novel poetic style, for he wrote both satirically and seriously about the earthiness and ribaldry of his time, mingling his poetic words with the restless individuality of the coming renaissance. Jailed often and once even condemned to death, only to be pardoned at the last minute, the character of Villon is a remarkable reflection of Europe during this fascinating period in history. In Endre Szasz’s' portrayal of François Villon in the painting Villon figure with vertical waves we see the intriguing figure of Villon emerge through the character's pensive eyes and aged facial features, a soft light illuminating his expressive face. Undulating waves fill the background of the painting, reflecting the many movements of thought that sway through the mind of this prophetic man. The contrasting light and shadow in the painting reminds us of the two sides of man that Villon explored, the good and the evil. Villon examined both in his writing. Szasz gives expression to both in his painting.