This interpretation of “Madonna and Child” after Peter Paul Rubens by André Romijn, done in oil and cold wax on paper on a wood panel, is a homage to Rubens’ baroque style. Rubens is known for his vivid expression, movement, and sensuality, and this piece attempts to capture that essence, albeit with its unique touch.
Romijn’s work here is characterized by a softness of form and a warmth of interaction between the figures, which is a central theme in many of Rubens’ works. The depiction of the Madonna and Child is intimate and tender, with the Madonna’s gentle handling of the Child suggesting a natural and maternal connection.
The technique of using oil and cold wax gives the painting a rich texture and depth, and it is a method that complements the emotive quality of the subject matter.
The color palette, while more subdued than what Rubens might have used, still offers a contrast between the warm reds of the Madonna’s clothing and the paleness of the flesh tones. The background is relatively muted, focusing the viewer’s attention on the figures.
What stands out in Romijn’s version is the accessibility of the figures. While Rubens’ work often has a grand, almost overwhelming sense of the divine, this piece brings the divine into a more intimate and approachable realm. The texture created by the cold wax technique adds a tactile element that makes the painting inviting to the touch, if one could touch it.
The texture created by the cold wax technique adds a tactile element that makes the painting inviting to the touch, if one could touch it.
In creating this piece, Romijn pays respect to Rubens’ original work, which was commissioned for the Antwerp Cathedral around 1617, a significant period for religious art. It’s a thoughtful reflection on how classical themes can be revisited and reinterpreted by contemporary artists, keeping the conversation between the past and present alive within the arts.
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