Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Ribera's Hands at the Brooklyn Museum

One friday I went paddling up the beach from Coney Island to Brighton Beach, ate some fab russian pastries then took the train back to Brooklyn Museum.

Despite a woefully rubbish cafe, I enjoyed my visit here, although I didn't bother with any of the trendy, modern stuff. Instead I spent ages looking at second rate paintings, with a few first class paintings thrown in. At my stage of learning this can be very useful - they are, of course, still way beyond me, but tend to show the workings and give me use-able ideas. Masterpieces are great to look at, very inspiring, but often difficult to assess for help in how to paint. It can be hard to use the critical mind when your jaw is hitting the floor . . .

These photo's are of Ribera's painting of St Joseph of the Flowering Rod. Seeing these hands were a jaw-dropping moment, although I can't saw I am too keen on the whole thing - Ribera for me is a first class painter but his subject matter can make him a little hard to love. But look at these hands.

I'd hoped that the photo's might help me show how to paint skin better, but I think that they are just going to be reminders of how important hands can be, and of how much distance there is between my paintings and a class act such as Ribera.

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