In another virtuoso re-invention of the still life, Stephen Rose turns to artists such as Louise Moillon, Chardin and Melendez. The simplest and most basic composition of fruit in a humble basket or bowl, placed on a bare shelf without background or fully-realized space, is brought triumphantly up-to-date with this beautifully-painted battered foil box. A restricted range of tones for the graduated, mouse-grey ground gains texture and interest from an application of thick paint drawn over the tooth of the canvas; against this subtle background the minimal lines of the glass sing with a plangent harmony, throwing back the golden hues of the cherries. Rose is the master of cherry-painting, and this is one of his finest images.
Stephen Rose was born in Rochford, Essex, in 1960. His career as an artist began when, aged 8, he saw a print of Caravaggio’s Conversion of St Paul. He was trained at the Medway College of Art (1979-80), Cheltenham College of Art (1980-83; BA Hons in Fine Art), the British School in Rome (1982), and the Royal Academy of Art (1983-86; Diploma in Fine Art). In 1992 he was elected Brother of the Art Workers Guild, Bloomsbury, London.
He has won various awards, including the British Institute Award, 1983; the Royal Academy Painting Prize, 1984; the Landseer Scholarship, 1985; the Richard Ford Travelling Scholarship, 1986 (when he studied at the Prado, Madrid); and the Royal Overseas League International Painting Competition Travelling Prize, 1987 (when he visited in northern India). He has exhibited at the ICA, the Mall Galleries, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the National Portrait Gallery (BP Portrait Competition); in 2001 he had his first one-man exhibition at Target, in Munich, Germany.
Publications: How to paint in oils, Winsor & Newton, 2008