Our new collection of wall art is a tribute to the Old Masters. These pastiche artworks take original paintings - many by famed Dutch artists - and give them a cheeky twist.
The collection includes parody versions of paintings by Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Van Eyck and Johannes Vermeer. Most of them centre on obscuring the face of the subject in some way - a common theme in Mineheart wall art.
The first two canvas prints in the collection feature invisible subjects. The first is called Girl Without a Pearl Earring and is a tribute to one of the world’s most famous artworks. Young & Battaglia's pastiche of this ubiquitous painting is a quirky version exploring what happens when a famous image becomes invisible.
The real Girl with a Pearl Earring was painted by Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch Baroque painter famous for his studies of 17th century middle class life. It looks very much like this version - only the subject has a face, and of course a pearl earring. The result is very effective. Not only do we instantly recognise the image, even though that famous face is gone, but it actually fires the imagination. Can we remember that young girl’s face? Are there other faces that could fit in this painting instead?
The second print is a pastiche of An Old Man in Military Costume by Rembrandt. By removing the face of the subject we’re invited to use our imaginations to conjure up our own ideas. Who does this military outfit belong to? What sort of an expression are they wearing? By using our mind's eye we can have a different face in the frame as often as we like - so this piece of military art will never lose your interest.
Taking away the person in the portrait means we are less distracted. We can really study Rembrandt's clever detailing on the ostrich feather, the texture of the velvet on the cap and the way the light reflects from that armoured collar.
Art with hidden faces
The next two prints in the series take well known portraits and obscure the faces in a different way. First up, Young and Battaglia take on the Mona Lisa. With this pastiche you'll have to imagine that enigmatic Mona Lisa smile. This playful parody blends the iconic Leonardo da Vinci painting with the surrealist work of Rene Magritte. The Florentine lady's face is hidden behind a shiny red apple. Wall art has never been so fruity!
While this is certainly a pastiche, it's quite thought provoking. It invites us to ask ourselves a few questions. Can we replicate that famous face in our mind's eye? How would the Mona Lisa feel about her image being doctored in this way? And would Da Vinci approve of this quirky wall art?
Young Woman with a facial
In the second ‘hidden face’ canvas print, Young & Battaglia take a Renaissance portrait to the spa. The original painting is called Portrait of a Young Woman, by Dutch artist Rogier van der Weyden and is celebrated for its realism.
In creating this pastiche, Young & Battaglia decided that the Young Woman needs a bit of pampering, and have treated her to a facial. The face mask has been carefully applied not to taint the lady's elaborate headdress, and cucumber slices are helping to cool and relax her eyes.
While this is clearly a very playful parody of van der Weyden's portrait, it still has the effect of making us think. What does the lady behind the face mask look like? Are they enjoying a little time out to relax, and what are the causes of her stress?
A show of hands
Four artworks in the new collection are devoted entirely to hands. The series revisits classic paintings and gives them a minimalist makeover by removing everything in the image except the hands and what they are holding.
The first pair of hands belong in fact to King Charles I, as painted by Dutch master Gerrit van Honthurst. They are holding a letter, while the rest of the famous monarch is cloaked in total darkness. The original of this painting is hanging in the National Portrait Gallery!
Next up is a Rembrandt pastiche, where a Portrait of a Woman with Gloves is reduced to a single hand holding a pair of lace gloves. The original portrait by the Dutch master now hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland.
The famous Jan van Eyck is another artist whose work is reduced to its hands, this time holding a flower. The original portrait by the Netherlandish artist in the 15th century features a man in an elaborate red turban looking directly at the viewer. It is thought to potentially be a van Eyck self portrait.
The final piece in this set is a pair of hands in prayer. This time the artist is unknown, but the solitary praying hands make quite a statement in their black background.
While these are certainly parody art canvases, they are still thought provoking. They invite us to use our imaginations and conjure up our own ideas. What does the rest of the picture look like? Is the person sitting in darkness out of sight, or have they disappeared completely? What sort of an expression is the missing person wearing - and what about their outfit? By using our mind's eye we can have a different person in the frame each time we look at it - so this piece of quirky wall art will never lose your interest.
Birth of Venus Magritte Pastiche
The final artwork in this collection is a little different from the rest. It calls on Botticelli, Magritte and Hokusai to create something uniquely beautiful.
The main image is of Botticelli's celebrated painting, The Birth of Venus - where the goddess of love steps off the sea from a giant clam shell. Artists Young and Battaglia blended this iconic image with the work of two other great artists - Rene Magritte and Katsushika Hokusai. Hokusai created another iconic artwork - that of the Great Wave off Kanagawa, one of the world's most famous Japanese paintings. Meanwhile Magritte famously depicted hovering human figures in Golconda, one of his most celebrated paintings.
The result is something new and unique - a multitude of Venuses hover over the Great Wave. Or is it raining Venuses? Either way, it's definitely preferable to attempting to surf that sea on an oversized shell.
The art of the Mineheart pastiche
Spend a little time in our wall art section and you’ll quickly discover that we love a pastiche - which is defined as a tribute or celebration of an artist by creating something in their style.
At the root of this is the fact that we love classical and traditional things - but we honour them in a playful way. Our Bubblegum collection is the perfect example of this. We love the atmosphere and the style of paintings from the Old Masters, but invite the subjects to show a little personality by blowing a bubble, balancing a pencil on their lip or sticking out their tongue. We like to describe this style of pastiche as Modernaissance.