Portrait of the Artist’s Wife

A long time ago, I drew this sketch of my wife. She was a fantastic model, being patient and forgiving, which was fortunate as I did not really know what I was doing (feeble tonal work and erratic handling). All the same, it was not a bad likeness.

The Artist's Wife, 29.2 x 20.3cm, pencil on paper, 1986

Caroline, 29.2 x 20.3cm, pencil on paper, 1986

Recently, I had another go, but this time in oils. Although I still have a great model, she now has a better idea of what she can expect from me.

I went through a lot of Old Masters to have a look at their versions of their wives, not so much for inspiration but just out of curiosity. Some of the portraits are well known. Unfortunately, as a few of my favourite artists  (Sargent, Reynolds, Lawrence) never married, there were no wives for them to paint.

Isabella Brandt by Peter Paul Rubens, Uffizi

Isabella Brandt by Peter Paul Rubens, 86 x 62cm, oil on canvas, c.1625, Uffizi Gallery

Helen Fourment by Peter Paul Rubens

The Artist, Helene Fourment and their son Peter Paul, oil on panel, 204 x 159cm, c.1639 by Peter Paul Rubens, Metropolitan Musuem of Art

Saskia by Rembrandt

Saskia van Uylenburg by Rembrandt, oil on canvas, 65 x 48cm c. 1634 Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Mary Ruthven by Van Dyck, oil on canvas, 104 x 81cm, c. 1639, Museo Nacional del Prado

Mary Ruthven by Van Dyck, oil on canvas, 104 x 81cm, c. 1639, Museo Nacional del Prado

 

Thomas Gainsborough, Gemaldegalerie Berlin

Margaret Gainsborough by Thomas Gainsborough, 76 x 64cm, oil on canvas, c. 1758, Gemäldegalerie Berlin

Ann Edgar, Lady Raeburn, oil on canvas, 147 x 112cm by Sir Henry Raeburn, private collection

Ann Edgar, Lady Raeburn by Sir Henry Raeburn, oil on canvas, 147 x 112cm, private collection

 

Emma Zorn by Anders Zorn, oil on canvas, 40 x 60cm, 1887, Zorn Museet, Mora

Emma Zorn by Anders Zorn, oil on canvas, 40 x 60cm, 1887, Zorn Museet, Mora

Anyway, below is my portrait, after a 26 year hiatus, and for those who wanted to ask,
yes, she is a schoolmistress.

Caroline, oil on canvas, 70 x 60 cm, 2013

Caroline, oil on canvas, 70 x 60 cm, 2013

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3 Responses to Portrait of the Artist’s Wife

  1. François Wildhaber says:

    Cher Louis,

    Pas de doute tu as meilleur goût que ceux dont tu montres leurs toiles.

    Bonne journée
    Amicalement
    François

    • Louis says:

      Cher Francois,
      un grand merci pour les petits mots bien encourageants. Bonne continuation avec tes propres efforts artistiques.
      Amities,
      Louis

  2. Mireille Mason says:

    Je suis d’accord avec François: Caroline est la plus belle et elle n’a pas beaucoup changé depuis 1986. Entre temps tu as considérablement amélioré ta technique du portrait. Bravo à tous les deux!
    Amitiés
    Mireille

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