Classical Realist Oil Portraits of Women
Portrait of Pia
Award of Excellence • Portrait Society of America
Pia commissioned this three-quarter length portrait of herself on the eve of her marriage, as a remembrance of her life as a single woman. Upon first meeting her, Marvin was struck by Pia's incredible sense of calmness and clarity, and knew that for the portrait to be truly successful he needed to be able to capture her unique combination of strength and gentleness.
The composition features a complex background utilizing a multitude of floral textures in a soft analogous purple, blue and green color scheme. These tones create a perfect foil to enhance the subtle nuances of her complexion. At the same time, the graphic contrasting shapes of her dress, the chair and the drapery convey a very solid and grounded base.
Symbolically, the small porcelain figurine on the left edge of the painting, tangentially touching her right index finger, is an homage to Michelangelo's depiction of God giving life to Adam in his Sistine Chapel mural. It playfully reinforces Pia's intent to begin creating a family of her own.