"The creation of art is not the fulfillment of a need but the creation of a need.
The world never needed Beethoven's Fifth Symphony until he created it. Now we could not live without it."

-Louis I. Kahn, Architect

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Gold technique revisited

This is my last portrait of Hannah my daughter (the previous one was done four years ago). 

I am using a new technique: background partly painted in gold. Not as a gimmick but as an interesting way to make a portrait look more lively: its appearance changes depending on the angle we look at it. It cannot be shown here with a static pic. Sorry.

This is a traditional media which has been in practice for some 5,000 years, beginning in ancient India and was widely used during the great dynasties of ancient  Egypt and spread in Eastern and Western Europe after the fall of the Roman empire (Byzantine icons and medieval altarpieces).  Asia has also utilized gold-leaf backgrounds in their fine painting (see below: Heron- Song dynasty). 

Gustav Klimt is the most famous European artist of the 20th century to have used gold leaf as a proper mode of his expression, away from its religious tradition in the West (see below: Klimt: the Kiss).
So, in the secular tradition revived by Klimt, I will use it more often as it adds a unique feature to a painting: being more alive and like "reacting" to our presence, from where we are and look. 

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