Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Art Review - "Peonies and Head of a Woman" by John Peter Russell

I'm starting off this year's #museumtourtuesday posts with a wish list painting. I first encountered this piece by John Peter Russell decades ago in a book on Australian Impressionists. It's one that I've always hoped to view in person, and it is a part of the National Gallery of Victoria's collection.
What I find so intriguing about this piece is the artist's consistency of approach. Russell did not in any way alter his method of paint application in the face versus the flowers, and the textural quality of the paint remains the same throughout the work. This consistency of approach is something I always strive for, and this painting, despite my never having viewed it in person, is one of the major influences on my own work. It has remained in the back of my mind ever since I first viewed a reproduction of it.
John Peter Russell moved from Sydney to Europe in the late 19th Century, where he painted with the French Impressionists. A lifelong friend to Vincent Van Gogh, Russell painted the artist's first known portrait in 1886. Henri Matisse actually credited Russell with introducing him to Impressionism.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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