Monday, August 25, 2008

"must keep the traditions alive"

WHAT DO Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II, Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush, and Hillary Clinton have in common?

They all had their portraits painted by Igor V. Babailov.  

Babailov, born in 1965, is a proponent of a realistic style of painting.  He is generous in sharing his technique, which strongly emphasizes sketching from life.  To him, and indeed to entire tradition of the arts, in East and West, art is a virtue that requires intensive practice as well as the humility to study and precisely duplicate the art of those who came before.  His view of art is not esoteric gnosis, and outsiders are not philistines.
As the spiral of modern art history continues to wind down, we can see the increasing demand for tradition in the visual arts. Although much damage to academic education has been done, there are more and more artists, organizations and schools around the world trying to bring the traditions back, to restore the values left to us by the Old Masters.

Ultimately, the aim of such schools of Realist art should be to train artists who are able to draw to a very high standard; have a deep understanding and knowledge of anatomy, perspective and composition as foundations for great painting; have positive attitudes toward life and nature, and see it and express it in their works with uncompromising truth; and have a great knowledge of the Old Masters' methods and techniques, and apply them to their own works in order to preserve these methods for future generations of artists.

Why we must keep the traditions alive, by Igor Babailov
While painting portraits of the wealthy and powerful may have little to do with the promotion and improvement of the liturgical arts, the long tradition of art as a virtue is of incomparable value over the contemporary view of art as an expression of the artist's feelings. It also allows us to have a more objective way of judging the objects of art.

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