Kathleen Gilje

New York City, New York
Robert Rosenblum as the Marquis de Pastoret
Oil on canvas, 2005
Collection of the artist

 

Robert Rosenblum as the Marquis de Pastoret was painted as first in a series of works that I did for my exhibition, “Curators, Critics, and Connoisseurs of Modern and Contemporary Art” at Francis Naumann Fine Art Gallery which opened April 5, 2006. Originally I was trained as a conservator of old master paintings at the Museum of Capodimonte, Naples, Italy. Although I no longer restore paintings, I am very familiar with the provenance and unique beauty of old works of art. I wanted to use my knowledge and experience to expand the idea of portraiture. When I began approaching New York art world personalities to paint their portrait, in the manner of old master paintings, it was an invitation to embark on collaboration. Almost without exception, my subjects chose their own paintings from the halls of history. In every case there is a story that gave me much insight into a significant personality and the inspiration to capture it. Two years ago, when I suggested to my friend Robert Rosenblum that I would like to do his portrait, we commented on how Robert looked like the Ingres portrait of the Marquis at the Art Institute of Chicago. He said that over the years several other people had made the same comment and that in fact, he playfully remarked, the Marquis, dashing, young and handsome as he is, was his alter ego. As a leading authority and author on Ingres, this was more than just a physical similarity to the painting; it was a spiritual connection and the perfect choice.

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