History painting

These recent works bring in and make reference to history paintings, in some cases as a commentary on the past and in others just a way to make a work which uses some of the subject matter, iconography and compositions of painters I admire, so a homage in a way..yet hopefully not a pastiche or blatant copy.

Don John of Austria - oil on canvas 28 x 40 ''
inspired by 'Lepanto' by GK Chesterton;
"Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds, Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds"...
full poem here - http://www.bartleby.com/103/91.html

Ascension day machinations - oil on canvas 40 x 28''
Just working on this piece - my idea was to paint an explosion in a classical way - or at least integrate it into a classical composition - that was my starting point however it can if you like also have a historical dimension:

from Wikipedia: Alfonso de la Cueva, 1st Marquis of Bedmar
In 1618 king Philip III charged him with the devolution of the territories conquered by the Spanish forces in Piedmont to the duke of Savoy. In 1616 Venice concluded an alliance with France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands to counter Spain's power. Bedmar was instructed[3] to destroy this league and, with Pedro Téllez-Girón, 3rd Duke of Osuna, viceroy of Naples (1574–1624), and the Spanish Governor of the Duchy of Milan, Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, 3rd Duke of Feria, planned a naval invasion to bring the city closer to the Spanish sphere of influence. The scheme was to be carried out on Ascension Day in 1618 but was revealed by the French, and Bedmar, protected by his position from arrest, left Venice.

The bountiful Cresthaven - oil on canvas 40 x 30''

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