It isn’t necessarily servile to copy the Old Masters:
copying is surely a way for beginners to learn techniques.
This is what I did in my youth.
It developed into an passionate pursuit of the inherent truth of the old works that I had chosen to study.
Throughout my career I have gradually acquired an intimate
knowledge of these artists through their works and their techniques in the context of their eras.
The heart of their unique sensitivity.
My paintbrush in their wake.
The confident movement of my hand mirroring the way I imagine they did it and certainly using the same materials: from the choice of support to the final glaze.
I allow myself small differences to demonstrate my personal involvement in the creation of the work:
a subtle touch of humour, a gentle anachronism.
And above all I bring a freshness and clarity to these works that have suffered the outrages of time.
The "savoir-faire" is essential, plus patience and the conviction that no square inch of the canvas should be neglected in showing total respect to the work.
My preference in reproducing old masters is primarily
for Flemish artists of the XVth century and
their rigorously erudite technique:
Van Eyck, Bosch, Van der Weyden, Patinir....
Then, for the voluptuousness of their sensual brush strokes, the Dutch of the XVIIth century, the Italians and their poetry, Leonardo da Vinci and his enigmatic subjects, Caravaggio and the power of his shadows, and a host of minor Masters from these periods, the quality of whose brushstrokes can be so moving.