So while here doing a music thing, took time out to visit Museum Kuntspalast and found this exhibition: http://www.smkp.de/en/exhibitions/current/zurbaran-master-of-detail/
Hadn’t heard of this contemporary of Valezquez, so thought it would be interesting. Zurbaran is mainly known for his religious works and his painting style.
The title of this exhibition is spot on as his attention to detail is exquisite. Although religious works are not to my taste (and by room 2 I was flagging) . His ability to pick out the finest details of a garment or, as in the case of Agnus Dei, the tiniest curls of the wool, was truly spectacular.
Zurbaran received many monastical commisions and he was also well known for the way in which he used shades of white. This portrait is an excellent example of the technique:
Another technique he was known for is the use of an almost black backround so that the figures are the focal point. In this portrait the red velvet of the robe shone out of the canvas but it was his face, diffused in a light from an unknown source that was remarkable.
As I said, he was mostly known for his religious work, but he did undertake one commision linked to mythology when he painted the twelve labours of Hercules. This one actually made me think thst for all the pious work Zurbaran did, underneath there was a ‘twinkle’. The posture and the way Hercules is staring out at us, was so humorous.
All in all, a good morning’s work on my first trip to Dusseldorf.