Sunday, 10 March 2013

Is This Caravaggio's Missing Masterpiece ?

Caravaggio's missing masterpiece, The Humiliation of St Kenneth, has miraculously reappeared in Tollesbury. Believed by experts to have been lost for ever after the painter's mysterious death in 1610,  the canvas was found in the porch of St Mary's Church in the village last Sunday morning.
But it now seems that the painting may have been in the area for a considerable time. Local  'character' Stan Mudrise (94) says he recalls the then heavily-varnished canvas, complete with frame, being use to patch up the leaking roof of his grandparents' outside lavatory, before that was destroyed by a bomb dropped from an off-course Zeppelin during the Great War.
Unfortunately the painting has, in the intervening years, been rather crudely restored, with the features of Caravaggio's original subjects now bearing more than a passing resemblance to the cast of  'Carry On Doctor'.
Experts from the National Gallery and the Courtauld Institute, as well as from Sothebys, are expected in the village at any time. They will be attempting to authenticate, and to try to put a value on, this immensely important work.
The Humiliation of St Kenneth is temporarily on display at Saunders & Co., where it can be viewed by appointment only.

The Humiliation of St Kenneth
Oil on canvas  40" x 30"

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Paper cut-out paintings

Julie's turned four of her paper cut-out landscapes into large acrylic paintings, and they look really impressive. She'd shifted loads as post and greetings cards and liked the idea of turning them into  paintings. The first she did, Tollesbury Creeks, was painted freehand but took coat after coat of acrylic to get the depth and solidity of colour that she wanted. This led to experimentation with various tapes and scalpels until she hit on a working method she was happy with. So these are more like one-off prints - masked up and cut out and painted. Come and take a look for yourselves;  they're bold, bright and crisp and are on display at Saunders & Co.

Across to Mersea
Acrylic on canvas  36" x 24"
Tollesbury Fleet
Acrylic on canvas  36" x 24"
Red Hill on the Blackwater
Acrylic on canvas  24" x 36"
Tollesbury Creeks
Acrylic on canvas  48" x 30"

New landscapes

Here are a couple of new Tollesbury landscapes, one large and one small.
The first, 'Yellow Field', is a view at low tide looking inland over the flooded field from the breached sea wall. This really is "As seen on TV !", as it's the very mud from which Ray Winstone as Magwitch ominously emerged in last year's BBC adaptation of Great Expectations
The second, 'Lightship, Creek, Creek, Hard', is the view looking over the saltings from the sea wall behind the sailing club. The four separate 7" x 5"canvasses are framed together in a reclaimed plank, giving the impression - I hope - of looking out of the windows of an abandoned boat.

Yellow Field
Oil on canvas  60" x 30"
Lightship, Creek, Creek, Hard
Oil on canvasses in reclaimed pine frame  8" x 36"