Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Death Of A Clown...

Eric Sykes,
Andrew Tift, charcoal on paper, A1, 2012
I was saddened to hear of the death of Eric Sykes last week at the age of 89 last week. I really like a lot of that post war comedy from the 1950’s and 60’s which Sykes was right at the heart of as a writer, producer and performer. His death also reminded me of a great photorealist portrait drawing by Andrew Tift which I recently saw posted on his blog. I thought it would be good to share it alongside a couple of other images of comedians and clowns, which have long fascinated some of my favourite painters.
Ken Dodd OBE, 
David Cobley, oil on linen, 95 x 107cms, 2000
This portrait of Ken Dodd by David Cobley is a really powerful painting. It really seems to capture that idea of the slightly sad and tragic figure behind the laughter.

 Georges Roualt, 
'Clown' above and below, 1912
Antoine Watteau’s ‘Pierrot’ is one of my desert-island paintings, and most loved portraits. I remember walking for what seemed like miles around the Louvre in Paris trying to find it, before stumbling upon it in the deeper recesses of the palace. It was certainly worth the effort though. Sometimes this sort of effort makes finally seeing the thing even more memorable and worthwhile…
Antoine Watteau, 'Pierrot', oil on canvas, 184 x 145cms, 1718-19

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