Time for a tribute to Lourens Alma Tadema and why not? Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Mondriaan and De Kooning are house hold names. Perhaps not as famous as these artists, this dutch painter spent much of his time in the United Kingdom. Maybe if people would see one of his famous Roman sceneries they surely would recognize the style. Allegedly he often is accused of creating the ultimate kitsch whereas in fact it is quite the opposite. Personally I think his depictions of classical antiquity do not constitute contrived sentiment at all. Surely, his love couples sitting on a marble bench hurt my gums sometimes. But what about the display of that marble! I have never seen such fine celebration of the love for textures, except with Jan van Eyck. Whether it is marble, sea or skin textures, they all are convincing and they arouse a certain jealousy.
In the past I made some tributes like to Man Ray. However, this one was not intented to become one in advance. Sometimes it so happens that one association led to another. The other day I showed a student his work while working out a live model drawing set up. It was my regular model that came to pose for me last month. Since we are facing yet another lockdown this month she could not come. This sketch was far from finished yet. In addition I was not sure yet what to make of the upper part of the image plane. This is how you come to realize how wonderful one’s brain can work. My subconsciousness must have planned this ages ago already.
Enough said about how the tribute came to be. Contrary to Alma Tadema’s sceneries I already sketched my model fairly dark. She posed for me during the evening hours. The scene I made is a hotchpotch of props he used for his own paintings. There is the Octavianus’ statue and the marble bench. The pillars are my own fabrication though and so is the round Greek temple in the back. Last but not least I decided to throw in some extra drama. The extra darkness, even though in daylight, adds to this flavour. Can you spot the pun?
Graphite pencil drawing (Sakura 0.5 mm, 4B) on Talens Bristol paper (21 x 29.7 x 0.1 cm) – A4 format)
Artist: Corné Akkers
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