Gabrielle Cot
Hi folks.  Just some quick comments and thoughts about my latest work, a copy after William Bouguereau's portrait of Gabrielle Cot from 1890.  I have always wanted to try my hand at doing a copy of an old master painting just for the challenge and experience if nothing else. While the options of choices are endless I finally decided on this particular painting mainly because of the style and masterful lifelike qualities it presents as a portrait. While some may not even know who Bouguereau was and not consider him a true "master" such as Rembrandt, Hals, Vermeer and others, the truth is his technique of rendering human flesh was about as good as it gets.  This particular portrait has been praised by some as one of the finest examples of realist portraiture ever executed.(I would hesitate to say it is or isnt; i havent seen them all! not to mention i have seen some masterful works done by current realist artists that are stunning)  I wont get into all the debates concerning what constitutes a great portrait or painting for that matter. That can of worms can go on forever. But nobody can question the techinal execution of his work. The man knew how to manipulate paint. The biggest challenge I faced was finding the source image to paint from. While there is a good image at Art Renewel Center and other sources, it had some major drawbacks. It appeared to be a highly contrasted image and the fleshtones were somewhat washed out compared to all other examples of his work i had seen. I finally found one cropped version that appeared to have the natural tones intact but it was a very low resolution image.  So to compromise, i used the hi res contrasty image from ARC for the preliminary drawing and tried to use the low res version for the fleshtones....unfortunately the hair was cropped out!...ARGH....btw the original is in a private collection trip to a museum for research....anyway.....once i finished the painting and was ready to take a pic to post it I ran across a super hi res image with perfect color et al. right down to the individual cracks in the paint !! i find it!...anyway i did my best to retouch the painting the  best i could without starting over from scratch so i hope my results arent to far off.....enough blather for now....hope you all enjoy it


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Previously published:

 classical portraits, still life and historical artwork in oil, graphite and charcoal

 Glenn Alan BeasleySherwood, AR5015900355

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