I shoot all of my own reference photos for my artwork. When I visited Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire I noticed these lovely sculptural details of medieval faces up on the walls. Since this particular one was peering right down on the best preserved original of the Magna Carta I took it to be a representation of Eleanor of Aquitaine - wife of Henry the second and mother of “Bad” King John, (signer of the Magna Carta). Whether it is, in fact, meant to be her or not, I am not 100 percent certain. However I am still calling this pastel painting “Eleanor of Aquitaine”, because she was one of the most powerful yet tragic women of the early Middle Ages.
Here is the framed piece. I am really happy with the way it turned out. I value this piece highly because for one, I do not do many pastel paintings - and for two I love visiting the Britain and reading its history.
While my original oil painting “Mini-Helmet Commemorative edition” remains in my collection, it has been selling in print format in various sizes on Fine Art America. Here is a link to the latest sale.
There is only one thing better than spending time in an art museum, and that is visiting a great country house in England. Blenheim is one of the greatest of the great country houses and a visit there is an extraordinary experience on many levels. Natural beauty, history, architectural delights and fine art abound! Blenheim was built in the Early 1700s as a gift from Queen Anne and a grateful nation to John Churchill, after he lead his British troops to victory against the hated French in the battle of Blenheim (on German soil). By the way, “Blenheim” – as in the battle of – is pronounced just how it looks “Blen-Hime”. While the great country house named after it “Blenheim Palace” is pronounced “Blen-NIM”. Why? I a not certain, but below are some shots, to whet your appetite for the next few posts. Cheers!