portrait drawings

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  • Neville Jason C16th Moroni

    31.4 x 24.2

    pencil on paper

    2013

141
141

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