Classical Realism Fine Art Portrait
Sylvia Fishbach at Seventeen
Award of Excellence • Portrait Society of America
This three-quarter length portrait, with a complex background, was commissioned by Sylvia's son, Stephen, when she was 85 years of age. Marvin was provided with her high school graduation picture – a faded headshot – taken when she was seventeen. Although technically not a posthumous portrait the painting required the same strategy of filling in the gaps when starting with less than sufficient reference material.
Marvin literally created this entire tableau choosing an oriental theme which was a motif popularized by American artists during that period. The composition is a perfect representation of the golden mean, masterfully blending all the elements to add rich texture and interest, but never competing with the focal point, her face. The inventive composition contrasts the curves of her body against the linear elements surrounding her and utilizes an analagous color scheme with a muted complimentary field to further emphasize her head.