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Preparatory drawing
The "splotch" of paint
Close-up, detail from painting
Back of artwork
The photographic model


George Washington life mask with "splotch" of paint. Painting

Romain Héjé


Painting, Oil on Canvas

Size: 38.2 W x 51.2 H x 1.2 D in

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About The Artwork

The model for this painting is a black and white newspaper photography of George Washington life mask by Jean-Antoine houdon. I was interest whith the relation between sculpture and painting, highlight by the fact that i am working from a photography. My pictures (since i have done three paintings so far from this model) is a painted reproduction of a photography, the photography of an artwork a plastercast from George Washington' s face. This life mask offer a direct line to it being a kind of "bas-relief" - you don't need to go around it. In the time the mask was made the sculptor kind of carved the eyes the way sculptors do in order to give the expression. As i painted that from my "model", it was just the reproduction of carved curves in some material, clay or plaster, not an eye and yet it looks like someone's eye. Being George Washington it gives it a special meaning which suit the painting the story telling aspect of a painting.When was it painted rather than who painted it is relevent and why? The splotch of paint there is actually a real bas-relief on the painting below right not a representation like the life mask.I took the risk of their juxtaposition on the same canvas, the same image. The painting has a light smooth silky finish

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Oil on Canvas

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:38.2 W x 51.2 H x 1.2 D in

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"Dyslexie, dysorthographie, dyscalculie..." was what i used to hear when i was a child, which drove me to a "Libre école Rudolf Steiner" where i had a very good time learning and dealing with drawing, painting, wood working, a very genuine way. It was never called :"ART", but who cares ? The topic back then had more to do with the Cosmos, vitality, energetic fields, rythm, grows, states of minds, of evolution, self-control, harmony and balance, elements that i kept in mind as i became an artist. Later, i got a BA and a MA of art from the royal College of Arts and design London (1989) but getting "on the ball" is another story. My first commitment was with sculpture in free open spaces. I moved then to abstract painting bringing this habit of "making things" in the process of painting. Recently i got acquainted to figurative painting for its political aspect, the need to respond in a more concrete way to our troubled times.

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