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Portfolio - Benedict Rubbra - Recent Exhibition: A Journey from the Eye to the Image - 2009

See also Benedict Rubbra New Work exclusive to The Art Room

Now in his seventh decade, Benedict Rubbra has lived his life at an unusual level of internal intensity. Super-sensitive to the play of light and colour as well as to sound, touch and taste, he has maintained a level of mental alertness that few people achieve. A lifetime of deeply-felt experiences feeds his art.

Bird Singing in the Morning £2400

Rubbra has said that ‘latent thoughts seem to float to the surface like oxygen bubbles in a pond ... the subject seems to become more and more complicated as the drawing nears completion; like growing old’.

Picking Blackcurrents £4700

For Benedict Rubbra’s work it is not only his ruminative mind but each of his senses that engage in the act of creation.

Piazza in Siena SOLD

Touch and taste and sound and smell can be said to infiltrate every aspect of his art, evoking a sympathetic sensory response from the viewer.

Courtyard of Brunelleschis Spedale SOLD

Benedict was born in 1938 at Valley Cottage in Speen in the Chiltern Hills where he lived until moving to Devon in 2001. His father was the composer Edmund Rubbra.

Grand Piano and Music Stand SOLD

Capella Pazzi £5300

Looking alertly at the world around him, noticing, enjoying, suffering, perhaps self-imposedly thin-skinned, he filters all he has seen and learned into paintings that become summarisations of particular times, places, moods and feelings. This filtration process is the core concern of his life: he experiences in order to paint.

Falling Plum Tree £4600

When the embryonic picture begins to acquire a direction of its own, and when Rubbra becomes explicitly involved, it is as if the process of creation becomes a dialogue, an organic exchange between the creator and the created.

Goldfinch £3900

Music seems to emanate from his paintings.

On Entering the Cathedral in Pienza £6000

In 1947 Rubbra was taken to Italy to stay with his aunt who was a painter and who has work in the Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti in Florence. This was the first of many influential visits to Italy.

Cypress Guarding Vineyards and Olive Trees £6500

Sainte Chapelle Paris SOLD

Waiting for the seed of an idea to form, germinate and develop its own life, Rubbra likes to hold back from taking conscious control of the image ... to allow his subconscious full rein.

Disordered Room £1400

Nature is the main source of Rubbra’s inspiration. From early youth to maturity he has been acutely aware of art’s kinship with nature. He sees the artist as part of the natural cycle, part of the process of growth.

River SOLD

A decade ago he noted in his sketchbook: ‘Wed 21 December – my favourite day. It gives little light and yet there is more hope in it than the longest day that is saturated with light. I feel the potential growth in the waiting seeds and I feel that I can be part of the increasing momentum of light.’

Still Life with Window £1300

Rubbra has found a unique way of combining multi-stranded experiences within a single image, and it is this that gives his work its complex originality.

Hedge Laying Regeneration £4500

Tessa and Benedict moved to Italy for six months in 1996. A large body of drawings was produced during this period and he was introduced to print making at ‘Venezia Viva’ in Venice where he exhibited in 1998.

Landscape with Opening Seed Pod £3200

Lark Ascending SOLD

Notable Rubbra portrait commissions include HRH The Prince of Wales for the Fishmongers’ company, Sir Colin Davis, Lord Hailsham, Sir Ove Arup, Lord Simon for BP and Sir Peter Burt for the Bank of Scotland. Publications include ‘Painting Children’ published by the Herbert Press and Watson-Guptil, NY and ‘Benedict Rubbra Paintings 1958 – 1998’ published to coincide with his sixtieth Birthday retrospective. 'Benedict Rubbra Point of Balance', written by Jenny Pery on his life and work, was published last year by Halsgrove.

See also Benedict Rubbra New Work exclusive to The Art Room