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Arranging the pictures

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  • Lady Victoria Getty C17th Van Dyck

    1994

    pencil on paper

    32.4 x 24.8

  • Sir Paul Getty C17th Van Dyck

    1994

    pencil on paper

    32.4 x 24.8

  • Gry Iverslein Katz C19th Klimt

    1994

    pencil on paper

    31.5 x 24.5

  • Pierre Jourdan Bary C17th Van Dyck

    1994

    pencil on paper

  • Gilbert de Botton C19th Ingres

    1994

    pencil on paper

  • Philip Weinstein C19th Ingres

    1995

    pencil on paper

  • Matthew Weinstein C19th Købke

    1995

    pencil on paper

  • Diana Weinstein C18th Vincent

    1995

    pencil on paper

  • Gilda Gourlay C16th Eworth

    1995

    pencil on paper

    31.1 x 23.9

  • William Burlington C17th Van Dyck

    1995

    pencil on paper

    31.8 x 24.8

  • Barbara Jonas C17th School of Van Dyck

    1995

    pencil on paper

  • Ivor Braka C15th Memling

    1996

    pencil on paper

    31.1 x 24.8

  • Lady Celina Carter C18th Ramsay

    1997

    pencil on paper

  • Wolfgang Nagy C16th Holbein

    1998

    pencil on paper

    30.5 x 23.5

  • Harry Hyams C17th Van Dyck

    1999

    pencil on paper

  • Leonidas Goulandris C15th Memling

    2000

    pencil on paper

    31.5 x 25.7

  • Michael Leonard C19th Daguerreotype

    2000

    pencil on paper

  • Miles Gibson C16th Moroni

    2001

    pencil on paper

    30.8 x 23.9

  • Sebastian Gibson C18th Batoni

    2001

    pencil on paper

    31.1 x 24.2

  • Hugh Gibson C18th Boilly

    2001

    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