Updated: Feb 14, 2021
There are two entries from our group that I did not include in my post about recreating portraiture, but I thought were excellent.
The first was the McDaniel family’s re-creation of James McNeill Whistler’s iconic depiction of the artist’s mother. Painted in 1871, the original now sits in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Depicted in profile, the visage of the artist’s mother is not nearly as important as the mood the composition creates. I thought the recreation superbly captured the serenity of the sitter as well as the color composition.
Another piece I regarded highly was the Meyer family’s recreation of the Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Proserpine from the Tate Gallery London. It captured the painting’s details exceptionally well – the pose, the fruit, the vine as well as incense holder. The subject matter is the ancient Roman goddess of the underworld; the original sitter was William Morris’s wife Jane. The painting intriguingly fuses allegory and portraiture, a topic for another blog post.
My own family had several recreations for the friendly competition. Nicholas and Edmund sat as Achilles and Ajax from Exekias’s famed amphora. Dating from 540-530 BC, the ancient Greek vase now sits in the Vatican Museum in Rome. Recreating a bi-chromatic composition posed an interesting challenge, but the boys relished the opportunity to dress up in armor.
Our home in Amenia, New York is very close to the Indian Rock Schoolhouse, which afforded a wonderful backdrop to recreate Winslow Homer’s “Snap the Whip” from 1872.
Having a well-stocked pantry was an important feature of quarantine. Although simple to recreate, Andy Warhol’s “Campbell Soup” from 1968 seemed particularly relevant again.
I hope you enjoyed these entries as well as my thoughts on portraiture. If anyone wants to send me their own recreations, I will post them once I get a critical mass.
James Abbott McNeill Whistler, “Portrait of the Artist's Mother”, also called “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1,” Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Proserpine,” Tate Gallery, London.
Exekias, "Achilles and Ajax Playing a Game", Attic Amphora, 540-530BC, Vatican Museum, Vatican City.
Winslow Homer, "Snap the Whip", Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Andy Warhol. “Campbell Soup”, Museum of Modern Art: New York.