Porta Aurea: Where Confidence and Mystery Converge

Porta Aurea: Where Confidence and Mystery Converge

In the realm of art that bridges mediums and ignites emotions, ‘Porta Aurea’ emerges as a breath-taking example of multi-media mastery. The canvas becomes a tapestry of oil paint, gold leaf, and pastel, interwoven with the enigmatic essence of a young woman who gazes boldly into the viewer's soul. The title, ‘Porta Aurea’, meaning the Golden Gate, only scratches the surface of the golden mysteries and secrets that lie within.

At the heart of this grand tableau stands the young woman, her nakedness protected by an ethereal coat, symbolic of vulnerability wrapped in strength. Her eyes, the darkest pools of intrigue, pierce the fourth wall, confronting us with a gaze that commands attention. There is an aura of confidence that emanates from her very being, intermingling with a shroud of mystery that tickles the senses.

Fabric of empowerment

In her gaze, one discerns the fabric of empowerment, a defiance against life's unknowns. The bold positioning of the figure amidst a sea of red, like a radiant tempest, juxtaposes her vulnerability with an unmistakable, steadfast pride. It is this ambiguity that piques our curiosity and lures us into her narrative.

The fusion of mediums becomes an allegory in itself, a reflection of the complexity that resides within the human experience. Her face, adorned with pastels, becomes an incandescent beacon amidst the crimson backdrop. The gold leaf that envelops her form reflects not just light, but a spiritual luminescence, casting her as a contemporary deity, a guardian of her own destiny.

Mystery and knowledge

The nuanced interplay of colour and texture finds its crescendo in the oil-painted banner, an ocean of red fading into the embrace of darkness on either side. Her coat merges seamlessly with this transition, evoking a poignant commentary on life's ever-shifting equilibrium. The convergence of colours and mediums mirrors the dichotomies we all grapple with — vulnerability and strength, mystery and knowledge.

‘Porta Aurea’ stands as a bold example made by André Romijn, orchestrating an ensemble of techniques to weave a story that resonates on a visceral level. In the midst of this intricate dance, a young woman stands as a symbol of every individual navigating life's labyrinthine corridors. She embodies the courage to confront the enigmas before her, not as obstacles, but as gateways to her own golden destiny.

Our emotions

With every stroke and layer, ‘Porta Aurea’ invites us to share in the journey of its protagonist, a journey that is uniquely personal yet universally relatable. As we stand before this opulent masterpiece, we are reminded that art has the power to transcend its materials, its form, and its creator — reaching deep into the core of our emotions, our uncertainties, and our shared humanity.


This painting is one of the three selected works of André Romijn for the Florence Biennale 14 - 22 October 2023



  • Size (h w d): 100 x 80 cm
  • Medium: Oil, pastel pencil and Gold Leaf on board
  • Framed Size (h w d): 120 x 100 cm

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