Monday, February 3, 2014

Tableau Vivant

Tableau vivant (plural: tableaux vivants) means "living picture". The term is French and describes a group of costumed actors or artist's models, carefully posed and often theatrically lit to replicate a painting or photograph.

Throughout the duration of the display, the people participating do not speak or move. The approach thus marries the art forms of the stage with those of painting or photography.
The Three Fates Tableau Vivant, by Nele, Eva, Kato of Belgium.
Last year I was contacted by Nele, Eva and Kato, 17 year old art students from Belgium.

"First of all we want to say that we really like your work. That's why we've chosen to imitate 'The three fates'. Our teacher of art at school gave us an assignment: turn a painting into a 'living work' ('tableau vivant' we call it). And that's what we did with 'The Three Fates'.

Wow, I was amazed at what a great job they did capturing the essence of the painting and honored that they'd choose my painting. There is poignancy in the fact that my painting, which is of my artist friends; Diane Feissel, Sadie Valerie and Alia El-Bermani, are founders of the Women Painting Women movement, has inspired young women artists on the other side of the world! Thank you Nele, Eva and Kato for sharing your work with me!

The Three Fates, 30x40, oil on panel 

In 2012, I heard from Tami Ross

"I am a film student at SCAD (savannah College of Art and Design) in Savannah, GA.  This quarter I am taking a lighting class and our first project was to take a painting that inspires us and re-create it with a little narrative. I used 'Power Struggle' and wanted to share my short film with you."

Awesome! Her male model even has a cleft chin like Pete. She did a great job creating her own narrative for the painting.
Power Struggle, 30x40, oil on panel
Inspiration for posting this now, is an amazing video of a Night Watch tableau vivant sent to my email inbox this morning.

And here is the painting.

The Night Watch or The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq (Dutch: De Nachtwacht),
1642 by Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn.

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