The Portrait Painting Gallery in Barga, is an initiative of Award winning artist André Romijn, showing portrait and figurative art from the 17th Century onwards. But it is more than the average gallery, as there are music, literature, lectures, workshops and other activities to create a multi-cultural meeting point for the like-minded!
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Passionate about art history, André is a self-taught portrait painter. Spending most of his career successfully in veterinary publishing and online-education, he has dedicated himself to a life of paint and brushes. Since 2020 he works full time on creating portraits and figurative paintings in oil.
André Romijn is from The Netherlands where he was born in 1960. He has lived many years in the United Kingdom but as a result of BREXIT he has moved to Barga, a medieval town in the Tuscan mountains of Italy.
His artistic focus is the portrait and figurative painting. “I love to create aesthetic art. Paintings that you enjoy looking at and that make you happy. That is what female portraits in particular do for me and I hope that other people experience that in same way. Although I have made some portraits of men, I find women more interesting to paint. Women are the symbol of life. How many female dictators have we seen in the past? I perceive women as creators, equally soft and powerful and therefore much more mysterious than men. I like to portrait females mainly as ‘strong’ personalities, full of confidence. That is the reason I like to focus on the eyes. Through history, women are quite often represented in art as humble and obedient sexual objects. When they confront the viewer in an equal manner, the inequality between men and woman disappears. For me it is interesting to see that particularly women are very fond of my paintings. I do recognise that some men don’t appreciate some of my creations as it seems to be too confrontational for them. I consider portraits as a mirror of the soul. Viewers make connections with my paintings. Is it something they recognise in themselves or is it a desire or aspiration to be like the sitter in the portrait? Who knows?”
Inspired by many classic and contemporary painters, André blends traditional academic painting techniques with a contemporary twist. He works mainly with oil, creating realistic portraits and figurative art. The dimensions of his work vary from small studies (10 x 15 cm) to larger pieces like 1.2 x 1.5 meter.
In April 2022 André opened the 'Portrait Painting Gallery' right in the old centre of Barga.
In 2020 Romijn was awarded for his painting ‘Elvira’ with ‘Artista dell’Anno – Creatività, Palermo Artexpo’. Works of André has been exhibited at Milan, Vienna, Venice, Palermo, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and in The Netherlands.
His artwork finds its way to the walls of art collectors from USA, UK and Europe. Romijn is featured in the third edition of ‘Artisti di Oggi e di Domani’ and ‘Jaarboek Kunstenaars 2023'; (Annual of Artist of The Netherlands 2023’).
Inspired by many classic painters, André blends traditional painting techniques with a contemporary twist. Read more in this interview with Atist Talk Magazine!
André is also the creator and author of historical novels and biographies like 'Hidden Harmonies: The secret life of Antonio Vivaldi' and 'Vive Madame La Dauphine'.
This portfolio shows a sample of André’s work, some of them and other works are available to purchase.