Copy of Perino del Vaga’s Holy Family
There was a unique and thrilling appeal to copying Perino del Vaga’s The Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist. In an era when the average Catholic is inundated by sacred kitsch, immersing oneself in a work by a Florentine Mannerist is the perfect antidote. This charming representation of the Holy Family was made especially enticing by its unusual composition, the expressions on the faces of the Madonna and Child, and the traditional symbolism of the goldfinch and cherry.
The process of replicating such a work was painstaking, yet rewarding. I prepared a wooden panel with traditional gesso then transferred a preparatory drawing made from the original. This transferred image guided my hand as I created a detailed underpainting in egg tempera. I then built up many layers of transparent oil color to create a jewel-like surface. Finally, I added a delicate shell gold filigree to Mary’s mantle and the halos.
Angel Statues for Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church
These life-size statues were painted in acrylic and oil for Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Lake Charles, La.
Venerable Fr. Patrick Peyton
Just completed is a 24 x 36″ oil portrait of Venerable Fr. Patrick Peyton. This commissioned portrait was created using a number of reference photos of Fr. Peyton as well as models and props.
Watercolor studies of Pontormo’s Annunciation
Two watercolor studies of Pontormo’s Annunciation were sold this week. Since the original painting is fresco, the watercolor seemed to lend itself to the airy color and execution of the original in Florence, Italy.
Oil studies in preparation of formal portrait
This fall should bring the completion of a portrait of Fr. Patrick Peyton, Servant of God. As part of the research for this painting, models came into the studio to provide real-life examples of how natural light falls on a black cassock.
Watercolor of St. Thomas Aquinas
Summer seems to be the season for watercolor! Here is a recent sketch based on the fresco by Ludwig Seitz (1844–1908), St Thomas Aquinas kneeling and offering his works to the Roman Catholic Church (1883-87). The original work is located in the Galleria dei Candelabri at the Vatican.
Painting Given to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs recently completed a privately commissioned painting of St. Augustine for Rev. Daniel Cardó, S.C.V, who had an audience with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on May 18, 2017.
The costume is based on gothic depictions of St. Augustine wearing cope, gloves, and mitre over an Augustinian habit. He is shown holding a flaming heart – a symbol also incorporated by the great artist, Philippe de Champaigne.
A habit and vestments were borrowed from Fr. Peter Gori, O.S.A., Fr. John Brancich, F.S.S.P., and the Diocese of Manchester. After completing several sketches of the model wearing the individual elements, the finished painting emerged. St. Augustine bends over his Confessions while clutching a flaming heart. The finished watercolor is 5 x 8 inches, mounted in a a vintage 11 x 15 inch frame.
On the Easel
Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs has just put the final touches on a portrait of Franc Cardinal Rodé, C.M. who is Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and Cardinal-Priest of San Francesco Saverio alla Garbatella. The painting is 16 inches in diameter, oil on panel, with a gold-leaf frame.
About the Artist
Stations of the Cross for Lent 2017
This set of Stations of the Cross was completed for Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Lake Charles, LA. The stations are 12″ x 16″, oil on panel.
Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs displayed two pieces at the 6th Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Exhibition at the St. Vincent Gallery in Latrobe, PA November 1 – December 2, 2016: Altarpiece Design with Mary, St. John the Baptist, and Ss. Peter and Paul and Madonna and Child with Cherries.
Display of paintings at Spring 2016 Artist-in-Residence show “Men of God, Women of the World” at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH
Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs’s artwork has been featured on the cover of several magazines and most recently the 2016 book from Angelico Press, The Golden Princess and the Moon, by Anna Maria Mendell.