This is a quick little oil study of Josephine on cheap canvas board. I painted it while talking on the phone one night, hence the roughness. I wanted to get a feel for her features as I choose to discern them from the many varied portraits she posed for during her reign as Empress of France. This one is based on a painting by Antoine Jean Gros, a neoclassical painter and student of Jacques-Louis David. I haven't investigated his life in great depth but it appears to have the trajectory of a meteoric rise and fall culminating in suicide, a sadly common end for misunderstood artists.
I have no idea why I reversed the image in my copy - perhaps it's the effect of all that backward thinking I engage in while carving linoleum. This image was pulled from a wonderful blog, "Madame Guillotine," by author of historical fiction, Melanie Clegg. I stumbled upon her work in my search for Josephine and have added her books to my reading list. I am especially keen to read "The Secret Diary of a Princess," a novel about Marie Antoinette, the next subject on my own hit list. I love the tag line on Melanie's blog: "Kill them all if they won't eat cake." 'Nuff said.
I am an illustrator with many years of experience in publishing, editorial, advertising and corporate. My illustration technique is linocut, printed and scanned with color applied in Photoshop. I love mixing old school and digital technologies and now am learning to paint in oils and with a wacom tablet. I'll post my learning curve here. Variety, the spice of life!