Thursday, April 10, 2008

After Botticelli - Primavera

Flora - Detail from Botticelli's Primavera
Oil on canvas 26cm x 36cm

FINALLY - I've finished the oil painting I seem to have been working on for months! The original panel is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Since there is always such a queue for tickets, I don't get to see this painting as often as I would like. I didn't get to see her at all while I was doing my copy. You can see Botticelli's entire painting here.

I loved painting Botticelli's foliage and flowers but the expression of this goddess gave me a lot of trouble. Botticelli's original seems to have a slight turn in her eye but his mouth is much more natural than mine. This is probably not the painting to choose to copy when one is starting out with oils but I have learnt a great deal as a result.

15 comments:

Joan said...

Robyn, You really challenge yourself!! Way to go, girl. This came out lovely!! You did a wonderful job on her skin tones and I love the hair. You are really stretching yourself. Congratulations on a job well done!

caseytoussaint said...

Wow. I'm speechless. And this is 'starting out with oils'??? Are you teaching yourself? Can I come for lessons??

Liz P said...

What a fabulously fun project! I love your version of Flora... she is warm, beautiful, whimsical, and full of life!

janie said...

Congratulations this is fantastic, she's beautiful and the flowers are stunning, the whole painting is wonderfully rich.

dinahmow said...

So you learned a lot...I hope you also had fun in the process?

(Years ago, there was a copy of Flora in my flat, but I hated it! Much too stiff;yours is a vast improvement.)

Anonymous said...

Robyn,
She is breathtakingly beautiful!
Shirley

Jeanette said...

How beautiful! You've outdone yourself on this one Robyn. I love the face and hair, but the flowers and foliage are outstanding.

Lin said...

Robyn!! WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!! It's STUNNING!!!! I am absolutely delirious with joy for such a superb job!! BRAVA!! BRAVA!! BRAVA!

Lisa B. said...

I think copying the old masters is an excellent way to learn how to paint. Famous artists have been doing it for centuries, and I wonder if their attempts were as good as yours. A very fine painting indeed!

bleeding espresso said...

Wow wow wow. I am in awe. She is so beautiful!

Judith in Umbria said...

She's stunning, Robyn and you are blowing me away. One day you complain you can't "get it" with oils and then you show this. When I think of the daubers I have tripped over at the Ufizzi trying to see that Grace's foot-- did you look at it?-- it's sad that you weren't able to paint this in that room, but it is really dark in there and I don't see how you could get it much better!

Anita said...

Wow, Robyn - this is stunning! That detail must have driven you crazy!

Debra Kay said...

Oh that is truly wonderful.

Anita Davies said...

D'ya know Robyn...I flicked from one painting to another and back again several times and...it has to be said...I like yours better!
BRAVO!

Robyn said...

I do wish people would include an email address on blogs - it is so nice to be able to leave a private note of thanks.

So for those of you I can't contact personally - THANK YOU! for all your great comments. And yes ....

ANITA, the detail did drive me crazy!

Casey T - I go to a Wednesday afternoon oil painting group which has a very experienced Italian teacher but I still can't understand anything he says!

Anita D - I'd like to think that is true but will settle for being delighted you said it!

Judith - They'd never have let me close enough in the Uffizi to peer at the detail. I'll go back and have a look at her foot next time. Very tempting to try other details from this painting.

Lisa B. I have seen some stunning work by artists after the masters, some of it on the footpaths (sidewalks) of Florence and elsewhere. And they are all much, much faster than I.

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