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Romi Behrens (Paperback)

A Painting Life

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Art > Artists Hobbies & Lifestyle > Art > Modern & Contemporary Art

Imprint: Sansom & Company
Pages: 176
Illustrations: 80 colour
ISBN: 9781915670168
Published: 14th September 2024

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The painter, Romi Behrens, lived in West Cornwall for nearly seventy years, voraciously painting the subjects around her every day. Her artistic career was as long as it was broad and spanned many genres, including still life, portraiture and landscape painting. This is the first monograph to pay homage to the extent of her career, providing a selected but characteristically-diverse range of visual and written material from the artist’s oeuvre and archives, starting with Romi's earliest paintings of her family, friends and the streets of Penzance and extending to religious themes done later in her life.

Rachel Rose Smith gives chronological shape to the span of Romi’s work, analysing the varying relationships throughout between the person and her work, as it reflected the many identities she held, including painter, woman, wife and mother. The author also explores rich connections embedded within her ways of seeing to formative examples from the history of painting, including Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Matisse, Cezanne and Picasso, with whom she arguably worked in dialogue. Romi’s works, however, are very much her own throughout, with those forms of expression and attention learnt from precedents mingling with her own humour, flair and surrounding life. Romi’s Christian faith and the loving focus she gave to her many subjects, whether friends or inanimate objects, are similarly explored, revealing a body of work which is both tender and vibrant, as well as persistent and constantly on the move.

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