I have a few vintage canvas portraits now and mentioned a couple here and here. Nothing beats the one-off originality of these old oils. Simple handmade artworks. Usually shabby and tattered from age and wear. I’m lured to them, not so much for their age and character, or the drab hues and muted tones of the old oils, but because they come ‘as is’ and because they are one-offs.
Done once. Not machine-made or manufactured in bulk.
And they stay just as I found them.
They are the artist’s aesthetic understanding at the time, a depiction of something observed and perceived by the artist.
It’s these sorts of attributes, the sincerity and honesty of the artist that gets me and gives these old oils their value.
I don’t know who the artist is as there are no identifying marks on the piece.
Ecclesial work. The subject is obviously a man of the cloth. No name. Looks like a Catholic Bishop dressed in the black and purple.
The Pope wears white, Cardinals red.
The prelate is dressed in the purple cassock with full length purple cape lined in black perhaps. He wears a wide purple cummerbund, sash or belt fascia at his waist.
The pectoral cross freely hanging from his neck on a chain, is worn in the centre of the chest just below the heart. That’s what an old school Catholic upbringing means – yep you know all the details.