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Rubens master of the oil sketch.

January 30, 2011

These phenomenal oil sketches are the mere tip of the iceberg for the sketch work of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Rubens was known for his grand and excessive paintings incorporating and repeating many of his chosen mythological themes. The style and mastery competed with the Baroque paintings of the Italians which he was both influenced by and studied from.

These works would have been considered preparatory work for large paintings that often (to me) do not retain the qualities these vibrant sketches put on show. They can used as a modern day example, or cliché of what makes a ‘master,’ they demonstrate what it should be like for a  “true” master painter- work which seems to be done quickly, fluently and easily..

Repetition plays a large part of this mastery, alongside a intuitive decision as to what influences one retains in their work, methodology or mentality.

The ‘A Lion  Hunt’ has been a favourite painting of mine for years. There is a funny tangled story associated with it for me, whereby I recalled seeing (and loving) the painting in Musee D’orsay in Paris. Afterwards, I get a postcard of it which I eventually lost, or maybe even posted. Last year, without putting the maths together I get another postcard copy in the National Gallery, London- I am slightly confused by my own memory of this painting I’d last seen years ago (maybe its just the reproduction?). But no, there is another Lion Hunt preparatory oil painting done by the French painter Eugene Delacroix called ‘The Lion Hunt’, almost 200years later.




















*Do not reuse these low quality photographs of Rubens’ work they are intended only for this page and are not entirely true to the original.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 12, 2011 1:37 am

    Great blog! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the comment.
    Yes, I am familiar with Bridget Riley and do love her work.
    Don’t know that I could do it all the time though!
    Best wishes,
    k. Madison Moore

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