Saturday, March 15, 2014

Compelling Faces in Art - Simon Vouet, self-portrait.

Simon Vouet is perhaps best remembered for helping to introduce the Italian Baroque style of painting to his native France. He lived in Italy from 1613 to 1627 (on a pension from the King of France and his patrons), where he absorbed the influences of Caravaggio's dramatic lighting, Paolo Veronese's color and “di sotto in su” or foreshortened perspective, as well as the art of Carracci, Guercino, Lanfranco and Guido Reni. 

And in this self-portrait, we find a face that has the capacity to see beauty, the desire and the need to live, a growing sense of himself in the world, and ambition. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tales of the Jazz Age comes to mind, in the words: “Youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.”

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