Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Madonna, Child and Goldfinch

The Glam Ass wanted to learn the art of guilding. Being the man he is he wanted to Do It Properly; no short cuts, no cheap imitations....

The vehicle for his learning was icon painting which I've mentioned  previously.  For almost 4 years he has driven up to Chester on a Sunday to join a class held in the Stanley Palace. It's a time consuming process and each stage has its own skills and complications; from preparing the ground of multi-layered gesso to painting in egg tempura - an art in itself to those of us more familiar with the plasticity of oils and acrylics. Then the gold leafing itself; applying sheets of fine and precious metal so delicate that a breath can blow them away.

And this is his latest piece - which took my breath away when he unwrapped it this weekend. 'Madonna, Child and Goldfinch':

The Goldfinch in art comes with a history; the ornithologist Herbert Friedman traced no fewer than 486 devotional pictures containing the Goldfinch attributed to 254 artists, 214 of them Italian. The little bird is said to symbolise the Passion and also Redemption. A folk tradition has it that the red marking on the bird's head came from Christ's blood on the day of the Crucifixion.

Isn't it beautiful?

13 comments:

Twiglet said...

How beautiful - what a real treasure. Clever, clever, clever! x Jo

Julia Dunnit said...

Oh my - it took my breath away too - what a fabulous piece! News to me about the goldfinch too..fascinating. But above all, that Glam Ass - his work is a triumph!

Frances said...

Yes, the painting is truly beautiful.

I want to know lots more about its creation. Could the GA possibly have custody of this site for a post or two?

xo

Cro Magnon said...

Superb. Guilding is a beautiful discipline... as you say; very delicate. I also once did a marbling course, the two seem to go together.

Kirsty.a said...

That is stunning. It looks just like the real thing. Really something to treasure

the veg artist said...

I'm impressed!

Pam said...

I'm in awe! What a talented man!

Mac n' Janet said...

What an incredible painting!!!!

elizabethm said...

Absolutely stunning. No sign there that the da aver the hand has held him back. Fabulous.

Fennie said...

Really beautiful. And the faces have an other worldly quality - modern and yet timeless.

Zoƫ said...

Wow, that's just beautiful. How clever he is! Family heirloom for sure.

Love the Goldfinch story too, I had never noticed it when I looked at symbolic allegory in paintings, but most my study was on the medieval, whereas I imagine the Italians are Renaissance and a bit later?

Stunning though.

Preseli Mags said...

Wow! Stunning. Such skill and talent, I'm in awe!

Cait O'Connor said...

Truly breathtaking.