Spring onions

Oil on panel 33.3 x 45.4cm; s.& d. ’07

Handmade replica of our British 20th Century artist's frame with painted finish

Overall framed size 47 x 59.1cm

Click on image to view at larger size

In another characteristically closely-observed study, Stephen Rose raises the most humble of subjects – bunched spring onions – to the level of a 17th century Dutch still life. The depiction of vegetable life on the cusp of decay, the outer leaves bent and browning, has the same allegorical thrust as a the moths and dying leaves in a flowerpiece by Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750). The viewpoint shuts out any boundaries to the surface on which the onions lie, but they are so fully realized, and the cast shadows and reflected lights so beautifully judged, that they appear to be firmly sited in a real three-dimensional space. The elastic bands are painted as carefully as the ribbon in a Dutch still life, giving by this reference an historical resonance to a contemporary re-making of the genre.

Biographical details

Stephen Rose was born in 1960 in Rochford, Essex. His early life was spent in Sevenoaks, Kent .

He trained at Medway College of Art (1979-80), Cheltenham College of Art and Technology (1980-83) BA (Hons), The British School in Rome (1982)

He won a scholarship to attend The Royal Academy of Art (1983-86) R.A dip. 

In 1992 he was elected a Brother of the Art Workers Guild.

He has won numerous awards: The British Institute Award,1983, The Greenshield Painting Prize, The Royal Academy Painting Prize 1984,The Landseer scholarship 1985,The Richard Ford Traveling Scholarship,1986 (where he studied at the Prado, Madrid) The Royal Overseas League International Painting competition ,Travel Prize,1987 (travelling in Northern India) The RBA , Gordon Hulston Memorial Prize, 2010. 

His works also featured in the National  Portrait Gallery (BP portrait competition  1995).  

In 2001 he had his first one-man show at Target, in Munich. 

In 2005 he had a painting chosen from the RA Schools Alumni, by Border Poets, as a subject for an anthology of poetry, at the Martin’s Gallery, The Cheltenham Literary Festival.

His paintings have also been exhibited at the following: Burlington Fine Art; Art and Soul, Bonhams; The Spa Galleries, Tunbridge Wells; ICA, The Mall Galleries; Royal Society of Portrait Painters; The Royal Society of British Artists; Mark Mitchell paintings and drawings (including exhibition in 2013 The Hungry Eye); The Kent Painters group since 2006; Berkeley Fine Art Fair; Olympia Fine Art Fair and Sybilla Steadelmeyer Gallery Berlin.

Clients include: Baroness  Alexandra Steinbeis von Bulow; Lee Childs (author); Amelie de Airault (former editor of photography French Vogue); Huawei Corporation China.

His paintings have appeared in the following Books:

Dear Christo: Memories of Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter, Timber Press 2010

Drawn from Paradise: Errol Fuller, Sir David Attenborough, Harper Collins 2012

Publications: How to paint in Oils, Winsor &  Newton , Search Press  2008.