January/February 2015

Late Rembrandt: investigating techniques and palettes

I recently made the pilgrimage to see the Late Rembrandt exhibition at the National Gallery in London.

It was utterly phenomenal and reduced me very happily to tears of admiration!

Having been a painter for over 25 years professionally, I am well acquainted with the oeuvre of Rembrandt, however the visceral impact of these late works all together was electric and inspirational.

( Combined with two visits to the Late Turner which ran concurrently at Tate Britain ) I came back to my studio absolutely buzzing.

I decided to just get the palette knives out, really apply myself, have fun and investigate roughly the approach Rembrandt  (and perhaps Turner also in a more oblique way ) might have used.

The results were this small portrait for which I used several references to Rembrandt's late self-portraits, not just one image. Submerging myself into his era and circumstances and imagining hearing his "old dutch Leiden/Amsterdam? voice around me ( I speak dutch would you believe! )

Late Rembrandt: investigating techniques and palettes<>1 - 1x

By really studying someone acutely like this, albeit a long passed on soul with no 'real life' references or modern images, you do sort of climb into their skin.

It's actually, probably, the only way to make any portrait a success.

Thanks to Mr.Van Rijn, I've had a lot of enjoyment throughout January on this little foray!

J.M.W.Turner next for me then. Brace yourselves...

Let me know what you think!

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Archive ...

17 January 2015


J.A. Swarbrick-Banks is pleased to welcome you to the new website.


Artist in Residence, Coventry Cathedral

Completed a portrait of the Very Reverend John Irvine, Dean of Coventry Cathedral 2000-2012 - Click Here to see Portrait


Artist in Residence, Coventry Cathedral

Completed abstract paintings of Coventry Cathedral - Click Here to view

All images © JA Swarbrick-Banks 2015