Although badly worn and in part dubiously restored, this painting still has impact. Tintoretto was a very fast painter, favouring a dark ground. Sadly, many of his paintings are badly deteriorated. The picture above is much clearer than the painting itself. I enjoyed drawing from this because the composition is very complex. As you scan it more figures seem to appear out of the ether.
Concentrating on this detailed, small scale painting for over an hour was an intense experience. A too often overlooked masterpiece to see for free in the heart of London.
The strange caped man in red swooping in, the lizard, the goat and the weirdly headed cupid all make this a great painting to draw from. That’s before we get onto the beautifully painted landscape on the left. This very strange painting follows a popular theme and shows us another Allegory of Love. Hosted by the National Gallery for more information on the painting click here.
There’s something that always appealed to me about lobsters. I’m not normally a big still life fan, but the iconic nature of Kalf’s lobster is captivating. As you can see from my page extension, I misjudged the height and needed to glue a bit more onto my sketchbook. Click on the image of the original painting to find out more about it. This piece has influenced my own work, I’m starting another large tree drawing, this time themed loosely on Saint Sebastian.
When you find a new painting in the National Gallery it’s a good idea to sketch it fast! I was very excited to see that this El Greco version has been lent by a private collection and is hung next to the gallery’s own version of “The Agony in the Garden”. El Greco is a complicated painter, taking Tintoretto’s school of composition and running with it. Always an exciting artist to copy. If you’re near the National Gallery this week run in and see this painting before it returns to its collection.
At the moment the RA is showing the blockbuster exhibition of Rubens and his influence. In light of this I thought a bit of drawing from Rubens was in order. Once again, while the RA is full to bursting the National Gallery’s collection of (free) Rubens paintings is rather quiet. Minerva Protects Pax From Mars is a stunning painting. Rubens is famous for the sensuality of his paintings. He captures flesh in such a powerful,believable way. When I was drawing this I was conscious of the weight of each of the figures. The arrangement is really complicated and working in monochrome…
For the first time in my lifetime the four paintings of Veronese’s Allegory of Love are being show together. Wow! Having driven myself slightly mad drawing from The Vision of Saint Helene I thought I would further the experience with Respect http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/paolo-veronese-respect Strangely, working from this complex piece was delightful. The elusiveness of Veronese coupled with the believability get me every time. There’s also something about seeing the Allegory as a whole which makes it so much more than the sum of the parts.
At the moment room 9 of the National Gallery is even more of a treat than usual. With a host of Veronese pictures hung together, including the four ceiling paintings, it’s worth a lingering visit. Captured by Veronese’s use of anatomical exaggeration to lend theatre to his work, I began sketching “The Vision of Saint Helene”. It’s been a difficult learning curb. Helene’s tilted chin, so artfully painted by the master utterly confounded this student.