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The Mystery of the Soul Painting

Robert van de Graaf


Painting, Oil on Canvas

Size: 157.5 W x 55.1 H x 1 D in

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About The Artwork

The piece (diptych, 2 x 140 x 200 cm) is inspired by the Cave of Saint John in Patmos (Greece), the journey of life and the mystery of the soul. On the righter part of the painting the road of life with all the challenges that you have to conquer on its way. And the tree of life, altered through life and full of wisdom reaching to heaven. When you enter the painting you literally walk on the road of life. The way to your soul is more difficult to see or reach, as this is hidden in the tumult of life with all its expectations and challenges, which is represented by the left and mid part of the painting. Through some situations you can literally be launched into this mysterious search of the soul. The two paths walk along each other, can come together or grow apart. I am interested in this journey to seek meaning in life and to seek the path of my soul. For me it is very interesting how you can incorporate the search for your soul into everyday life. The left part is the spiritual path of Saint John’s Cave, which represents the enlightened path of the soul, which is more hidden and difficult to reach. A road through the gardens of Paradise and accompanied by the Tree from Heaven, which is reaching for us and tries to guide us on the journey. Note: The artwork is a diptych, 2 x 140 x 200 cm.

Details & Dimensions

Multi-paneled Painting:Oil on Canvas

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:157.5 W x 55.1 H x 1 D in

Number of Panels:2

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Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

ARTIST STATEMENT: Robert van de Graaf (b. 1983, the Netherlands) is interested in the connection and relation between the mystical in this world, in all its manifestations (the sea, the sky, nature, human built environments, light and darkness), and the sense and the dimension of the spiritual world and our soul. In his exploration he is seeking the mystical hidden in this world which he translates into metaphorical paintings. The artworks express a complicated interplay of visual impressions and an emotional and spiritual reflection. They give substance to his ongoing journey to seek meaning in life. With his work Van de Graaf questions human destiny and how we as human beings can develop ourselves and grow on a spiritual level. He wishes his artworks to stimulate an opening towards personal deepening, both for himself and the viewer. The artworks aim to elicit a gaze back at the viewer, a reflection of feelings, crossing the line from observation to introspection. Van de Graaf draws his inspiration from religious and spiritual stories, mythology, mystical places and the philosophy of life. His poetry, written during or before the creative process, also has a direct influence on his work. He transforms his inspiration into contemporary interpretations while richly referring to artists through all times of art history such as Caspar David Friedrich, Anselm Kiefer, Joan Mitchell and the old masters. Though primarily working on his oil paintings, he is also using drawings and watercolours during the creation process. The oil paintings are layered, densely merging his diverse range of mark making, the expressive use of colour and studied compositions. His mark making, using brushes and palette knives, is moving from energetic gestural marks to very delicate ones, wishing his mark making to create a language which speaks directly to the heart and soul, not only to the ratio and mind. Throughout the different stages of the work he is adjusting in working speed, working from fast directed intuitive outbursts to precisely observed slower additions. The paintings are often large in scale and balance between the figurative and the abstract, giving a certain freedom to the viewer. Van de Graaf received a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Architecture (Technical University Delft) in 2009. At an early age he enjoyed an intense private painting and drawing training (1996 - 2001) by the Dutch artist Erica Meyster (1949 - 2006).

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