Bella is the general description a beautiful girl in Italy. Titian had already painted idealised figures, like the Girl in the Fur (see image above), today housed in Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum. He followed the era's great interest in capturing transpersonal beauty in art.
The Bella series is in line with the Renaissance idea of celebrating beauty itself by idealising and generalising the features of a beautiful person to achieve universal appeal.
Teh series started with an image found in the media. Nevertheless, I am not quite sure whether the nameless beauty would recognise herself, if she were to come across her idealised portraits.
What struck me first was her pose, the provocative gaze over the shoulder, combined with a somehow strange look in her eyes (not originally green, by the way).
I love to paint the same image over and over, exploring different ways of representation and expression in order to celebrate the countless possibilities which lie waiting to be discovered in one and the same image. And yet each painting of a series is a work that stands alone and speaks for itself, even if – at least for me – the great charm of a series lies in the chance to see how many faces can be discovered in one and the same face and image.
In the Bella series the paintings are covered with a layer of matted epoxy resin. This creates not only a very appealing and perfectly smooth surface, but blurs the hues to a certain extent, giving each painting a wonderful lustre. The surface is almost as smooth as a mirror, and the paint seems more like enamel than oil.