…that you have admired all your life since you first saw a slide in art school, and you then come face to face with it in a museum, well, that experience makes an impact. Jacque Louis David, French painter and visual arts darling of the French revolution, painted Marat Assassine` or Death of Marat, in 1793. It has always been one of my favorite paintings.
On a trip last year to Brussels, we visited the National Art Museum, which was only a few blocks from our apartment. I walked into one room of the museum and came face to face (so to speak) with this painting. Although it is a rather gruesome subject, the painting is so beautifully painted that I have always admired it. It is a huge treat for me to get to see paintings in real life that I have only seen in books and postcards previously. But there it was.
As I considered what to paint for this years forgery show, this painting leapt to mind. Could I pull it off? There was only one way to find out.
My frame is somewhat different from the actual frame, which is completely guilded, but it is a similar profile style.
Since this painting is a bit on the macabre side (ya think?) I decided to do several copies from a Dutch still life painter that I had seen in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. During that same trip. Incidentally, the Rijksmuseum just completed a 10 year long renovation, uncovering and restoring some amazing wall murals that had been painted over in the 1950’s. It is worth the visit just to see that, but there are some pretty swell paintings there as well. (Like four Vermeer paintings and Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, which is pretty friggen cool.)
These still lives are by Adriaen Coorte, who lived from 1665 to 1707, not exactly a long life.
till next time….