I promised more Ex Libris designs so, voilà, here is my Ex Libris with my study of Raphael’s Head of a Young Apostle. More about this drawing by Raphael and its extraordinary value you will find here (click here). I fell so deeply in love with Raphael’s Head of a Young Apostle, I sat down to draw a study of it. It might sound strange, but I believe that artists often paint or draw themselves, even when they make portraits of others. One can not escape ones own feelings, observation, perspective and projections, in that sense artists draw ourselves hidden in their drawings or paintings.
When it comes to drawing a portrait, like a ‘Young Apostle’ without having a life model in front of me, my subconsciousness projects itself and draws itself to a certain extent. To a certain extent, because I am not a young apostle and I am a woman. Still, my study gives away a lot about myself; about loving the theme of a young apostle, loving a Renaissance type of drawing, loving Raphael’s artwork, and altering Raphael’s model to a person that is taller and skinnier than his chosen model.
I decided the use the study as a theme for my Ex Libris design which prompted me to select a Renaissance letter-font. Again, I grew so happy studying Renaissance manuscripts, letter fonts, and signatures. How pretty they are; how profoundly artistic and special.
Many years ago my family visited a Raphael exhibition and I had the chance to study a drawing by Raphael very close up. Not that I was alone, far form that! You had to buy tickets with a time-slot. But somehow, I was lucky and I could press my nose almost against the protective glass and have a very close look at a small piece of sketching paper with some Madonna sketches by Raphael. The paper had been carefully repaired in many places. I could see how conservators or restorers had added paper to the original paper, as you notice new fabric is being added to support fabric that is falling apart. The whole document; the work of Raphael as well as the work by conservators made time stand still for me. I was enchanted. Mesmerized! While others were opening their art appreciative hearts to larger canvasses with bold colours and exquisite Madonnas and baby Jesus, I was hypnotized by this small piece of restored paper with unbelievable skillful sketches by Raphael. One knows when one meets a master.
Those who buy my booklet, will get one for free. Please mail me so that I can send my Renaissance Ex Libris to you by regular post: shipped from the Netherlands.
Paula Kuitenbrouwer at Etsy
Artist, Author & Expat