Welcome to a blog in which you will find examples of my work in two areas and comments on whatever topics come to mind.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Quick Sketch of Peter Paul Rubens's Painting of his Second Wife

Oil on Canvas Sheet 25 x 30cm

In 1630, four years after the death of his first wife, Rubens, aged 53, married the 16 year-old Helene Fourment.  Helen inspired the voluptuous figures of later paintings.

Helene is a lady I am anxious to know -- in a manner of speaking; as I've begun a large painting of Rubens' painting of her for the atelier I belong to in Bordeaux; which is serious and will take a long time.  I've looked at her a lot, in order to go on seeing her when I'm away and can close my eyes -- the tilt of her small black hat, the transparency of the material covering her right shoulder, the glint of her jewellery, the colour of her skin and many-hued hair, those floating ostritch plumes, and the grey-green-blue background on ochre and orange underpainting, the relationship between one thing and another.

This was done quickly, without drawing, a matter of taking a deep breath and just plunging in.  Good to do that occasionally. Rough work.  An exercise.  An approach.  She might recognize herself -- but only just.

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