DUTCH FINE ARTIST TANJA MöDERSCHEIM

Still life paintings using classical technique and pigments

I am a Dutch fine artist based in London. I specialise in still life, working in a classical style using traditional techniques and pigments used in 17th Century Holland. My close attention to detail and anatomy is a nod to the interest in naturalism during the Dutch Golden Age.

My paintings have strong themes of heritage and tradition. For example, my cultural heritage project focuses on Dutch tulips from the 16th – 19th Centuries. I source the bulbs from the gene bank Hortus Bulborum in Holland and grow them in my garden, resulting in ongoing series of heritage tulip paintings. My Delft Blue tableware paintings and paintings of Roman archaeological artifacts are also part of this heritage work. Culinary tradition is explored in paintings of British and French artisans’ food produce, celebrating their products and role in local communities. A collaboration with the BBC Food and Farming Awards in 2016 and an upcoming exhibition of Provençal produce in St Saturnin les Apt are part of this. In my series of hunting still life paintings I explore game birds, some of which were traditionally reserved for the Dutch aristocracy in the 17th Century.

I exhibit regularly in between painting commissioned/bespoke pieces. Selected exhibitions include the Mall Galleries (RBA, SWA, SBA) and Affordable Art Fair. 

Inspiration

Dutch Masters active during the first half of the 17th-Century Golden Age, working in the “ontbijt” or “breakfast” genre – handling of light and a subdued palette, e.g., Pieter Claesz. Flower painters: Willem van Aelst, Rachel Ruysch, Roelandt Savery. Game bird painters: Willem van Aelst. More recent times: Henri Fantin-Latour and Claudio Bravo.

Technique: classical painting technique involving grounding, dead-colouring, working up and glazing. Paintings on fine-weave linen or wood.

Palette: 17th C pigments vermillion, madder lake*, lead-tin yellow, stil de grain*, yellow ochre, lapis lazuli, umbers, bone black and lead white. My media are spike of lavender and poppyseed oils. (*not light-fast; only used to deepen shadows).

Composition: designs to express a sense of stillness, elegance and refinement.

Painting lemons in J.M.W Turner’s House in Twickenham, before the renovation (October 2015)

Dutch 16th -19th century heritage tulips. Oil on fine linen, 76.2x101.6cm (30x40")

Tulip work: Dutch heritage tulips 1595-1850