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Arranging the pictures

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  • Sir Roy Strong C19th Ingres

    1981

    pencil on paper

  • Astrid Zydower C17th Hals

    1983

    pencil on paper

  • Lincoln Kirstein C14th Italian School

    1983

    pencil on paper

    29.2 x 22.2

  • Cavan O’Brien C19th Ingres

    1983

    pencil on paper

  • Rory Fellowes C19th Ingres

    1983

    pencil on paper

  • Alain Blondel C16th Clouet

    1983

    pencil on paper

  • Anita Besson C19th Ingres

    1983

    pencil on paper

    33.6 x 26.9

  • Lady Marina Vaizey C18th Vigeé Lebrun

    1983

    pencil on paper

    29.8 x 23.5

  • Guy Beggs C19th Ingres

    1983

    pencil on paper

    30.5 x 22.9 approx

  • Jennifer Braasch C19th Ingres

    1983

    pencil on paper

  • R.B.Kitaj C19th Photograph: Brady

    1983

    pencil on paper

    29.2 x 21.6

  • Christopher de Marigny C16th School of Clouet

    1983

    pencil on paper

    31.7 x 24.8

  • Viv Lawrence C16th Holbein

    1983

    pencil on paper

    31.7 x 24.8

  • John Russell Taylor C17th Cooper

    1983

    pencil on paper

  • Ying Yeung Li C19th Ingres

    1984

    pencil on paper

    15.5 x 11.1

  • Bettina Fischer C16th Clouet

    1984

    pencil on paper

    15.5 x 10.5 approx

  • Flora Fischer C17th Mignard

    1984

    pencil on paper

    15.5 x 10.5 approx

  • Adrian Ward-Jackson C19th Ingres

    1984

    pencil on paper

  • David Rust C19th Ingres

    1984

    pencil on paper

    30.5 x 25.4

  • Marina Rust C19th Ingres

    1984

    pencil on paper

    30.5 x 25.4

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Portraits in Time

Every now and again I encounter a face that seems to be straight out of a portrait by one of the great artists of the past such as Holbein, Van Dyck or John Singer Sargent. To recapture this haunting sensation, I devised ‘Portraits in Time’, a set of drawings that pitches contemporary faces back through time to a period that better matches their facial characteristics. Adopting the style of an artist of the day, I use the illusionist technique of trompe-l’oeil to present my portrait as a reproduction, torn from the pages of a catalogue.

Often my subjects are intrigued to find how completely at home they seem in that earlier time - even more at home sometimes than in the present day! My portrait of George Hall for example, places him in the early eighteenth century. He looks so comfortable there, wearing a typical wig of the period, that after I’ve been looking at my drawing for a while, I have to struggle to return his face to the age we live in!

© Michael Leonard