Ex Libris with a study of 'Head of a Young Apostle by Raphael' by Dutch artist Paula Kuitenbrouwer, Bookplate Renaissance, Ex Libris Art


4 sepia-brown coloured Ex Libris bookplates.

Ex Libris with Raphael's Head of a Young Apostle. I did a study of Raphael's Head of a Young Apostle a few years ago as I am so deeply in love with it. It might sound a bit strange, but I believe that artists often paint or draw themselves, even when they make portraits of others. One can not escape ones own feelings, observation, perspectives and projections, in that sense artists often draw ourselves hidden in their drawings or paintings.

When it comes to drawing a portrait like a 'Young Apostle' without having a life model in front of me, my subconsciousness projects itself and draws itself to a certain extent. To a certain extent, because I am not a young apostle and I am a woman. Still, my study gives away a lot about myself; about loving the theme of a young apostle, loving a Renaissance type of drawing, loving Raphael's artwork, and altering Raphael's model to a person that is tall and skinnier than his chosen model.

Upon deciding to use the study as a theme for my Ex Libris design I had to select a Renaissance letter-font. Again, I felt so happy to study Renaissance manuscripts, letter fonts and signatures. How pretty they are; how profoundly artistic and special.

Many years back my family visited a Raphael exhibition and I had the chance to study a drawing by Raphael very close up. Not that I was alone, far form that! You had to buy tickets with a time-slot. But somehow, I was lucky and I could press my nose almost against the protective glass to have a very close look at a small piece of sketching paper with some Madonna sketches by Raphael. The paper had been carefully repaired in many places. I could see how conservators or restorers had added paper to the original paper, as you notice when new fabric is being added to support fabric that is falling apart. The whole document; the work of Raphael as well as the work by conservators made time stand still for me. I was enchanted. Mesmerized! While others were opening their art appreciative hearts to larger canvasses with bold colours and exquisite Madonnas with baby Jesus, I was hypnotized by this small piece of restored paper with unbelievable skillful sketches. One knows when one meets a master, it is said.

Paula Kuitenbrouwer

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