During 2023 I am participating in a portrait class that examines the work and painting styles and techniques of a few of history’s greatest master painters. This includes that of Diego Velázquez (1599 - 1660), the famous Spanish court painter of King Philip III at the height of the Spanish Golden Age. This also involved examining the work of John Singer Sargent (1826-1925), a modern proponent of Velázquez painterly style. Each of these master painters undertook a detailed near monotone underpainting before applying colour using quick though precise brush strokes.
In addition, I’ve studied the highly contrasted style (chiaroscuro) of both Michelangelo Mersi da Caravaggio (1571 -1610) and his proponent Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652) - a study in light and shadow. I have also delved into the beautiful and intricate detail of the master Renaissance painter Raphael (1483-1520) to gain insight into his amazing painting techniques.
I have also examined the portraiture of more modern Impressionist and Post Impressionist artists Eduard Manet and André Derain - gaining a better understanding of quick studies using loose brushwork and bright colour
These few works are my meagre attempts at copying or at least interpreting the mature style of each of these great artists.
The main image here is a copy of the central portion of the larger original John Singer Sargent painting completed in 1892 of the Belle Epoque socialite Lady Gertrude Agnew. My painting of her is oil on canvas, 35.5 x 45.5 cm.
Renaissance Man, 2023, oil on canvas, 30.5 x 40.68 cm.
This is a study of the portrait of ‘Baldassare Castigilone’ 1515 by Raphael.
The remarkable Renaissance master painter Raphael (1483-1520) was seen as the equal of Michelangelo and Leonardo de Vinci. His amazing detail was a joy to emulate. Raphael’s subject - Baldassare Caastiglione, Count of Castatico (1478-1529) was a friend of Raphael and a true Renaissance man - Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier, author and philosopher.
A quick study of the painting of ‘Aristotle ’ , 1536, by Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652), oil on linen, 31 x 41.5 cm.
A proponent of Caravaggio, his limited palate, quick brush strokes and strong contrast offer a wonderful level of drama. He offered stark realism using chiaroscuro technique.. This work was a quick 2.5 hours at easel.
My copy of the central figure in Diego Velázquez most famous work - Las Meninas - painted in 1656. My work is oil on canvas board, 30.2 x 40.5
A study of the painting ‘Boy Bitten by a Lizard’ circa 1590 by Micheangelo Mersi da Caravaggio.
Caravaggio’s unique style of chiaroscuro, and his unconventional approach of life painting directly to canvas, greatly influenced art practice for several generations.
Here is my completed copy of Diego Velázquez ‘The Seamstress’ circa 1643 – oil on Italian linen, 30 x 40 cm.
A study of the painting ‘Portrait of a Lady’ circa 1879 by Edouard Manet - oil on canvas board, 30.5 x 22.5 cm .
Bridging the classical tradition of Realism and the avant guard style of Impressionism, Edouard Manet (1832 - 1883) was greatly influenced by the Spanish painters Vélazquez and Goya. He disregarded academic painting conventions, painting quickly and loosely. As an Impressionist Manet depicted the ordinary people of Paris and France. I completed this work in 2.5 hours.
A study of the painting of 'Henri Matisse ’ , 1905, by André Derain - oil on board, 22.9 x 30.5 cm.
Initially seen as outrageous, Fauvism was a complete reaction against traditional forms of representational painting. The use of bright colour to replace tonal painting, and the swift large brush strokes, extend what Impressionism started. This work I completed in 2.5 hours.