By Isabel del Rio
If we speak about the seven best painters of the History, it would be easy the selection. In a chronological order we would name: Leonardo da Vinci, since he established the geometrical perspective; Caravaggio and his perfect contrasts between light and darkness; Velazquez’ magic atmosphere; Rembrandt’s naturalism; Goya and his constantly seeking of new themes and shapes; Picasso because he is the last classic painter, that one who takes up the old tradition in the best possible synthesis; and Rothko (yes, I know this last election is questionable) but the difficult way of the abstraction that Kandinsky started reaches the top with him.
However, this issue of Yareah magazine (19) is not dedicated to the Seven Best Painters but to the Seven Painters who has had Luck on their brush… or maybe in their smile… or in the lucky inheritance that we have received of them: the election is now complicate but that does not scare us because Art is not a silly knowledge.
To me, a lucky painter was Rubens, a happy person and successful artist who run a big studio in Antwerp. He painted to nobility, priests and art collectors throughout Europe and he was a humanist scholar and diplomat. He was knighted by Philip IV, King of Spain, and Charles I, King of England, while made love with his beautiful last wife, Hélène Fourment (she inspired the voluptuous figures of The Three Graces). However, Rubens is not the painter who gives me luck but The Greek (Domenico Theotocopuli), a painter and architect of the Spanish Renaissance.
The Greek’ has been present in very many nice events of my life and his expressionist full-color paintings have gladdened my days for my childhood, when I spent some wonderful summers in a house near the Mediterranean Sea, with a living room decorated with copies of his works.
Yareah magazine has its lucky painter too and she is Sabela Baña (no doubt), a current Spanish abstract artist who has accompanied this magazine from the very beginning, with her texts and geometrical compositions of personal colors.
And how about Michelangelo Buonarroti? Well, his life was painful (day and night quarreling with that stingy Pope called Julius II) but it is impossible do not admire his frescos, charcoals or sculptures (think of his David) without feeling the greatness of the human being and pride in belonging to its History.
The same happens with Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, favorite artist (and friend) of the queen Maria Antoinette. She suffered threats and harassment after the queen was guillotined but far from the Revolutionary France, she triumphed again and she has left us the most beautiful portraits of the Russian, German and England society, all of them different, all unique.
Now, we have five lucky painters but we need seven, since seven is the lucky number. Last night, when I was preparing this article and thinking about what I would say, I was in a bar with some other members of the magazine team, all of them very fond of talking and laughing in the pubs or in the old typical taverns. I asked them and Martin Cid, our editor, said quickly: ‘Bruegel. To me, a lucky painter is Pieter Bruegel, the Elder, since he has painted the most perfect taverns that a person can imagine in its sweetest dreams.’ ‘I agree,’ our partner Zara claimed, ‘he is the most suitable artist to feel like eating, dancing, drinking… and other lucky actions. He should be one of our lucky painters of this month.’
Therefore the joy of living was the main reason for them to choose and artist and following this thought, the name of Asher B. Duran grew rapidly. He was an American painter from the 19th century who praised Nature and mankind as a part of it. It is sure that an artist so hopeful in our future must give good luck.
Then, we have the Seven Lucky Painters of this issue, those Seven who will illustrate our text and pages, those Seven who will accompany us in this difficult way of thinking about Literature and Art.