Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Large Paintings

As mentioned, I have been engaged to paint many large paintings.

Some years ago a client came to me with an unusual request.
He wanted an Old Masters Collection, copied, as close to the originals as possible, because of course the originals were not available to buy.

I told him he could easily purchase copies from China, and cheaper than I could produce them.
I had only ever done small studies of selected Old Masters for my own edification and education, but when he challenged me as to whether I could do the job, I at once said 'of course'.
 In his words he wanted a 'real artist' to paint them.

So I began a most interesting time in my career. A Master Class in Practical Art Education. I was determined to recreate exactly, in scale and technique, the selection of paintings that he wanted.
The canvases were custom made to the precise sizes of the originals, and I studied in very close detail the brush techniques used.

There are some wonderful scholarly websites that have very close, detailed photographs of most of the paintings I was to copy.

In this photo there are nine paintings of the twelve I painted.

4  by Caravaggio (the client's favourite)
2 by Michelangelo
1 by Del La Tour
1 by Salviati
1 by an unknown Medieval Master, the work called 'Triumph of Death'. (Hanging on clamps at the back).
This was the only one I struggled to find adequate reference material for.
The few images I could find, showed that the painting was badly deteriorating, with small sections missing.
The client asked me to fill in what was missing and paint it like it had once been.
The largest was the one on the right 'St Matthew and an Angel' by Caravaggio which measured 2.6 metres high by 1.7 metres wide.

Directly in front is 'Adoration of the Magi' by Michelangelo measuring almost 2 metres square.

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