The enclosed rhyme scheme, exemplified by the first stanza of a (Petrarchan) sonnet, is here used to portray the four stages of a longterm relationship, in a series of four paintings.
a – The Headless Woman
I rejected love out of a fear of commitment. Like a headless bust among actual people, oblivious to my own handicap. The square format of the painting was chosen to represent stability, albeit an illusory one.
b – The Labyrinth
The start of the relationship. My vagrancy, his pursuit, my evasion.
b – Chess
Only the white queen and black king remain on the chess board. His depression has consumed the white king. Venus is there to pass judgement and to laugh. The game of chess is a lot like love. I don't know how to play chess.
a – Above the Situation
Observing the labyrinth from high up, I am above the situation. The square format of the painting now symbolizes stability without fear.