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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Living Grand Masters: Nelson Shanks

I am honored to have met Nelson Shanks, and have learned a lifetime of things in the few brief moments that I was able to watch him paint and receive advice and instruction from him.

A former student of Pietro Annigoni, Nelson is a master of the highest degree, and in portraiture no one even comes close. He is unmatched as a colorist and a painter of flesh, and the ability to pull character out of a pose.

Nelson is the founder of Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia. He lives and works in the area, but also paints in the former studio of Robert Henri in New York and if I'm correct has another studio in London.

If you get a commission to paint the pope's portrait from life at the Vatican, Princess Diana, and several United States Presidents, you just might have made it as a portrait painter.

Sophia, An Anthology by Nelson Shanks
In my opinion this is the greatest contemporary painting of a nude figure. Seeing it at Forum Gallery in 1998 was my introduction to his work, and I have been in love with it since. It now hangs in the Incamminati office, and I pay a visit to her whenever I'm in Philly.

Luciano Pavarotti by Nelson ShanksNelson Shanks

1 comment:

  1. I think we met at that demo stephen. It is pretty incredible to watch him paint. I found it fascinating that he'll scrap a painting if he is unhappy with the composition, even though he is well into it. He also studied with Henry Hensche in Provincetown.