Why beauty matters - how contemporary figurative art may be inspired by the old masters
I am a contemporary artist inspired by the works of the masters. Some people say : it is all over, there is no place for realistic figurative art today, people need abstract art, need photography, need to furnish their homes with objects of design. People buy paintings as an investment (the artist must be famous) or because they can fit the painting with the furniture they have, if it is abstract is better as it does not interfere with anything, it does not make think, it does not stimulate emotions. No value needed. I disagree. I believe that figurative realism is evergreen as it is telling the truth. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” – That is all Ye know on earth and all ye need to know. - - Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn
So, beauty is my subject, truth is my subject, even if it is not very appreciated today by the masses, I am sure there are people that think it like me. The beauty of human beings, both physical and spiritual, the emotions, the beauty of life, of nature are the subjects of my paintings. I agree with philosopher Roger Scruton on how this concept has been lost as modern art does not consider beauty as a valid subject any more. I am convinced that art can't be separated from beauty as art has a mission to elevate us over our physical conditions without losing the contact with reality.
Favourite quotes about portrait painting and painting general
Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. - Oscar Wilde
No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love. - Edvard Munch
What fascinates me much, much more than does anything else in my métier is the portrait... I should like to do portraits which will appear as revelations to people in 100 years time. - Vincent Van Gogh
I do not want to die... until I have faithfully made the most of my talent and cultivated the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown. - Kathe Kollwitz
“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.” - Pablo Picasso
"I am fifty years old and I have always lived in freedom; let me end my life free; when I am dead let this be said of me: 'He belonged to no school, to no church, to no institution, to no academy, least of all to any régime except the régime of liberty." - Gustave Courbet
"I remember Francis Bacon would say that he felt he was giving art what he thought it previously lacked. With me, it's what Yeats called the fascination with what's difficult. I'm only trying to do what I can't do." - Lucian Freud
“Nothing in a portrait is a matter of indifference. Gesture, grimace, clothing, decor even – all must combine to realize a character.” - Charles Baudelaire
"Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend." - John Singer Sargent
My favorite painters
Art history - Painting movements
My favorite painters - from all the ages
As you see from the list, my artistic taste is very eclectic, I like the Renaissance and Baroque masters, the classicist painters, the impressionists, some modern painters: expressionists, cubists and surrealists. But above all, I like realism!
I accept commissions for copies of the paintings of these painters and others.