I had the opportunity to see a new exhibition of work by Carla van de Puttelaar today, and to hear her speak about the work. Van de Puttelaar is an internationally recognised Dutch photographer and also an art historian specialising in C17 Scottish portraiture. The exhibition is the first public showing of a new series focused on women in the art world. There are about 200 pictures in the series now (it is still growing) and about 70 images are included in the exhibition.
Her background in art history leaps out from the pictures which are steeped in the traditions of historic and particularly Dutch portraiture. You can see that both with the consistent,y dark and restrained background and in the acute sensitivity to costume and colour. The costume is a substantial part of the portrait designed to maximise the substance and presence of the sitter. But she adds to that historic perspective a feminine softness which relaxes her sitters and gives an informality to each portrait which is extremely attractive.
These pictures are a masterclass in fine art portraiture which sit entirely comfortably in an Old Master gallery but remain at the same time entirely contemporary. They are stunning, and she makes it look so easy. It is an exhibition well worth a visit.
You can also find a brief trailer for the exhibition here: https://vimeo.com/265159915