Reynolds after Raphael (Portrayal)

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Edition of 15


50 x 60 cm paper size
40 x 50 cm image size

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NB: This is a Lambda print on C-type photographic paper. All our prints come with a certificate signed by the artist and a unique edition number. The prints are produced with a white border around the photograph to allow for framing. We also have included some cotton gloves to protect the print during handling.

In 1764, Sir Joshua Reynolds was commissioned by the 4th Duke of Marlborough to paint a portrait of his wife, Caroline and their daughter Lady Caroline Spencer. Nearly 250 years later, artist Victoria Hall recreated this intimate scene of mother and child, putting herself in the role of the Duchess and her newly born son, Thomas playing the part of the young Lady Caroline.

Forming part of her series, "Portrayal", in which Victoria restages English paintings, "Reynolds after Raphael" is both a autobiographical response to the birth of her own child as much as it is based on her interest in the history of art and the importance the old masters continue to have within English culture. Victoria is curious about the influence the heritage industry has on our visual language and in this work explores how Englishness is concerned almost entirely with the past. Our love affair with period dramas, stately homes and national history is important to how we identify ourselves.

In making the work, Victoria seeks to produce a faithful recreation of the original painting. When visiting Blenheim Palace, Victoria found the same vista used by Reynolds for the backdrop and where the painter had painted it to use in his studio, so Victoria photographed it and similarly positoned it on her stage set. With lighting, period costumes and special attention paid to hair and makeup, Victoria creates a mini film set into which she places herself to perform her duel role of performance artist and photographer's muse.

Artist's video and more information