Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Eustache Le Sueur

Christ on the Cross with the Magdalen, the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist, about 1643, oil on canvas, 109 x 73.1 cm, The National Gallery, London.

I appear to have finally managed to starting a new project, despite all the great many imponderables I am confronted with in seminary. The above mentioned painting is one of my favourites, actually Le Sueur is perfection. He has all that greatness and splendour that one expects from a painter of the "Grande Epoque", how diligent his brushwork seems, how sublime his colouring shines, one is just - stunned really in looking at his pictures. But he doesn't make the mistake of being overdiligent, no, not at all, he manages to adopt a certain "diligent negligence", his brushwork clearly reveals the ideal of sprezzatura.

On Sunday afternoon, I have prepared a gesso ground, using just a mixture of rabbit skin glue (70:1000), gesso, zinc white and fired earth. Next week, I shall seize the canvas with a concoction of damar varnish, sun thickened linseed oil and a small amount of linseed oil. I am going to post some photographs next week.

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