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Studied : Assorted master-works

Some are known, others are unkown to me. The references I used(mostly photographs or web images) either did not specify the origin, or I neglected to record it at that time. Especially the study on that unknown oil. The structure is as solid as a Cezanne(there is even a Cezannesque fruit-plate on the table), yet nothing could be as different as the final rendered image. I simply couldn't peg the painter's identity(could be a very well own person) - will you help?

The Lefebvre is an adaptation from the master's original, an oil titled "Truth". Lost Somewhere in my sketchbook is also a study on "Chloe" - that delightful nude by this master. The Van Gogh landscape was only to be expected(Livingstone made the concept of a Vincent Van Gogh endearing to generations of people - painter, non-painter alike, and I am no different), even though I hardly paint after his fashion. But then, I do not paint after any of these masters. I study their works so as to get a detailed insight into their way of working. And of course! - to be able to appreciate their wizardry from a much higher plane than simple viewing could provide.

Bouguereau mesmerizes me with his facility, yet somehow I do not agree with his concept of idealized beauty. I do not mind his nudes, some of which make me smell the warmth of naked skin, and as far as sheer skill is concerned he has very few peers in the history of Western Art. It is his concept of beauty which alienates me, built as it is on some filtered notions. If I were to seek beauty in impoverished children, which is not difficult to find, I would not want to design their features after some preconceived notion of esthetics, I would paint them as they stand, or sleep, or eat, or cry, or run around in dust and grime.

"Old Buddies", acrylic rendering of a favourite pair of shoes, now useless, reaches out to me not because of the skill involved(which I musn't fail to mention because of some artificial display of modesty), but because of its authenticity. Bouguereau, to me, would have been the greatest western painter had he used his enormous talents to create far more "realistic" images of the living world. Still, to speak of him in the same breadth as a Matisse, or a Pollock, or a Rothko - is taking things a bit too far!

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DeLaroche - remember his Girl in a Tub? And more famously, the Semi-circle at the Ecole de Beaux?(you must pardon my exemplary french spelling. Even English is not my native tongue, let alone French!). This is a study after one of his portraits. Click to enlarge. (19K)

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A Van Gogh landscape. I experimented with a drying oil manufactured locally to render the clouds. It was important to let the paint stand while drying, so as to bring out the brushmarks effectively. I have been thinking about doing a composite painting on Vincent, who is among my favourites. This study is a product of that endeavour. Click to enlarge... (56K)

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Bouguereau, the delightful grace of "his" hands. An irresistible theme for a study. Click to enlarge. (16K)

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Bouguereau - self portrait in oil, studied in graphite. You may tear him down to pieces with your "Modernistic" argument, but can you ignore this Great Master? Perhaps a Greenberg could, at his own cost, however. Click to enlarge ... (14K)


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Bernini - I believe this drawing on Bernini's sculpture has a nice spontaneous look about it. The lower part of the torso (as far as I can remember) had some undesirable artifacts and had to be cropped out. Take a closer look at the thumb-smudge effect on the left breast... (15K)

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Lefebvre - a "truncated" adaptation of the master's "Truth". Click to enlarge... (20K)



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Ingres and / or Prudhon(?) - I forgot which was which. Possibly both masters were studied on this page. Oblique hatches outlining chest muscles on the firgure to the right came out compellingly bold. Click to enlarge. (29K)

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Unknown - The painter of this masterful oil, studied here in graphite is unknown to me. The drawing is exquisite - note the slightly bent right leg. The human brain, unless one observes keenly, normally ignores such transient and seeminly aberrant postures. Yet the unknown master has recorded it, giving this apparently static pose an ablutive rythm. Click to enlarge. (39K)

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Prudhon and African mask - A Prudhon charcoal on toned paper studied in charcoal pencil, in the same page where an African Mask has been studied. I would love to locate the origin of this mask and pay my due respects. Click to enlarge . (24K)

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Lautrec and? - Possibly the woman on top(no pun intended, seriously!) was an Ingres, while those below were Lautrec's famous public-house ladies. Notice the faint shadow of a moustache on the leaning figure. Ah, this is my idea of natural esthetics! The lump to the left is a sketch of a pile of clothes on my studio floor - no past-master involved here! Click to enlarge... (38K)

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