STEPHEN ROSE (1960 - )

A tray of eggs

Oil on canvas 40.3 x 61cm; s. & d. 'Rose 13'

Handmade replica of our French early 20thC Artist’s canted frame,  painted

Overall framed size 56.8 x 76.8cm

Click on image to view at larger size

The humble subject has as long a history in still life painting as the assemblage of luxury items, and – from Roman wall-paintings to the present day – bowls and baskets of eggs have been depicted quite as often as silver platters of lobsters and porcelain dishes of grapes. Eggs are so familiar that the task is to make them fresh and surprising; they also offer a huge challenge to the painter, because of their smooth, flawless shape, their fine texture, and their non-geometric regularity. They can be symbolic of birth, death and rebirth; they can be semi-abstracted forms within an arrangement of other shapes. They can represent a peasant’s meal, mundane shopping, the ephemeral, nature and wild life, the innocent career versus the corrupted wine jar of life. The present work is a study in minimalism. The baskets and bowls of Chardin have been replaced by today’s throwaway cardboard tray; this move has also changed the picturesque mound of piled eggs to a chessboard arrangement. Everything is pared down – shape, colour, tone, chiaroscuro. The result is an extremely subtle painting, partly abstract, partly a study in minute variations of opalescent colour.

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.