Tuesday, January 28, 2020

sir henry raeburn ... busy establishment portraitist ... but always pushing paint to its limits and testing the principles of composition

























the costumes are often  borderland bonkers ... the backgrounds looks a mess ... but then you look at the insouciant harmonies in the colours he's smudged into the trees ...



























he always knew how to fit people in to the frame ...

















crisp linear construction ... soft hazy smudge-edged brushwork



























the powder from that wig ... how it lays like snow on his collar ... humour, and a painterly challenge ...






those trees are the worst kind of cheap gainsborough smudges ... but the way his face is bathed in the light reflected off her dress ...




























raeburn didn't need to fiddle around with detail ... he seemed to go in for audacious brushmarks on a principle of "anything you can do, i can do cheaper" ...



























his characters have poise and balance and a sense of humour



























he married well and was proud of his missus ...




























he could give a man his proper weight and "gravitas" ...






























even when he was in mortal danger of tripping over a thistle


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Raeburn



of course, you don't need me to remind you that the prosperity of Raeburn's clientele was firmly founded in Britain's imperialist expansion and the ruthless exploitation of our military inferiors ... for instance ...

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/459126