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Sculpture, Paintings & Curiosities


A reinterpretation of The Landscape with Hercules and Cacus by Poussin

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Artist's Statement:

"This painting is based on a reversed version of a painting by Nicholas Poussin called Landscape with Hercules and Cacus, 1660 ( Pushkin Museum Moscow ). Poussin's foreground, middle ground and background all bring the viewer's eye into the space with pauses and a fine sense of drama and balance and a coiling of forms that curve ever inwards. I have made many versions of this painting and I have left very little trace of its origin here but I am happy with the latent sense of distance without relevance or detail."

Copying the work of Old Masters has been practised throughout history as a way of learning to appreciate the method of other artists - it enables the student to see how many ways there are of painting, of gradations of colour, technique of brushwork and composition. It does not teach perception but shows you how something can be expressed after it has been perceived*

Throughout history both students and accomplished artists have also 'translated' originals. Van Gogh made a series based on the work of Millet and Turner based many paintings on works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Claude Lorrain and Poussin as well as Constable. More recently of course Francis Bacon, with the Red Cardinal, has re-visited Velazquez' s Pope Innocent numerous times.

Stephen Lawlor continues this tradition taking inspiration from specific paintings which have moved him by Titian, Poussin, Veronese and others.

Often his translations will feature a similar palette or certain vague shapes will be perceived; shadows from the original. However, more often it is the energy alone of the original which one perceives.

Lawlor will usually reflect the depth of the original, leading the eye from the foreground, through the middle distance and across to the horizon so one finds oneself continually travelling around and across the canvas. The work is not reduced to a flat plane of texture as if viewed from above but has great depth of field.

Stephen Lawlor was born in Dublin in 1958.

Studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

Lectured for many years in printmaking and life drawing at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design + Technology (DLCAD) Dublin.

Won the printmaking prize at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) twice and won print prizes in the USA and in Spain.

Participated in the 1st International Print Biennial, Lingshi China 2012
Participated in 7th International Biennial Douro Portugal 2014.

Elected an associate member of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (RE) in London in 2016

Founding member of the International Academic Printmaking Alliance (IAPA) at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, 2016

His paintings and prints are included in many public, private and corporate collections including:
Ashmolean Museum Oxford
Allied Irish Bank
Axa Insurance Plc
Butler Gallery, Kilkenny
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
Citibank Plc
Douro Museum, Portugal
Dublin City University (DCU)
Geneseo State University, New York
Glen Dimplex, Ireland
National Gallery of Ireland
University of Limerick
OPW, Smurfit Plc
University College Dublin
Biblioteca de Catalunya
Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing.

* "The Painter in Oil" by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst pub. 1898

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