Artist/Maker: Kostas Kampouropoulos (1939-2018)
Object/Materials and Techniques: Oil on canvas
Date: Painted between 2007-2016
Dimensions: H. 62 cm. x W. 45 cm.
Art style: Portraiture/Romantic elements with surrealistic expressionistic structures/Abstract art
Current Location: Private collection
Curator’s note: Inspired by the works and days of one of the most iconic patrons of the arts, during the Renaissance era, the artist created a fictional portrait of Caterina de Medici. One of the most powerful women in 16th century Europe, an Italian noblewoman who was Queen of France from 1547 until 1559, by marriage to King Henry II, herein is depicted as a symbolic figure of historical significance. Her form distinct almost transparent, in a black costume with an off-white ruff, surmounted by kind of a patriarchal cross, looking as though she is in a deep introspection, with her characteristic prominent eyes turned away from the viewer’s gaze, looking up towards an abstract divine figure, and her exquisitely shaped hands in a sense of alert; as she conveys her strong belief in the humanist ideal which she powerfully defended throughout her life.
Despite the darkness of this hazy spiritual image, the artist, by enhancing the masterfully painted play of light over her head, at the viewer’s left, desires to idealize his subject and underscore her momentous contribution to the artistic flowering, as stimulated by her patronage.