The National Gallery is collaborating with the London Film School on 'Transcriptions: LFS Shorts', an innovative new project which involves second term students producing short 3-4 minute films inspired by the Gallery’s collection as part of their course.

If this text remains on screen after the page has loaded, please install Adobe Flash and enable Javascript.

From the film-maker:


Inspired by the Martha and Mary of this painting – symbolic and literal opposites – ‘Antique’ tells the story of an older woman who’s nearly undone by her envy of a younger colleague. Intrigued by Velazquez’s use of inverted narrative – in which the primary story rests in the background of the painting – I shot the film in the same spirit: Martha hovers always in the background, the young Mary’s bustle and verve a foreground counterpoint to her skewed and sardonic musings. I also attempted to capture something of Velazquez’s use of layered framing, by shooting Martha in or through doorways. The hope was to further accentuate Martha’s isolation. The coexistence of different time periods within the painting and its colour palette also sparked my imagination, as a means to juxtapose the two women: visually, Martha belongs very much in the world of antiques, while Mary is a contemporary anomaly.


Tracy Sunderland


A piece inspired by: Diego Velázquez, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, probably 1618

Mohammad Shrydeh
Tracy Sunderland
Giacomo Boeri