Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The Hierarchy of Paint
Rembrandt who lusted after both fame and social acceptance often painted "history" even though his forte was character study and portraiture his bread and butter. The Night Watch, which began as a group portrait commission, became in his hands more like a history painting and in so doing, changed the standard for painting multiple folks forever. Meanwhile still life occupied such a lowly spot in the hierarchy that even women could make a living creating them.
Today history painting is a rare thing indeed, displaced by the Impressionists, then buried by Abstract Expressionism. But still life, once the stepchild of fine art, has enjoyed a prosperous existence with practitioners ranging from the renowned Giorgio Morandi to the present online Carol Marine.
My oil still life, Teapot, Short and Stout, is a humble nod to those long-ago women painters of pots and flowers who received such grudging respect.