Vincent Bakkum's Altinai

Altinaï, an acryclic-on-canvas work, is based on a photo Vincent Bakkum took “ages ago”. The 140x140cm painting sold almost immediately when first exhibited.

The subject “resembles a Montenegran princess in exile I met years ago at a party in Paris”, says Bakkum. “Her name was Altinaï. A name for a mythological lady.”

1. “First I drew her [based on the photograph], gave her some highlights and was very pleased with the composition and her looks, but I needed to add drama to the backdrop.”

2. “Since I can’t paint landscapes – my brushes turn all panoramas into pea soup –  nor interiors, nor sports cars or racehorses, I always need some kind of ‘wallpaper’ to finish a painting.”

3. “I borrowed some floral elements from a Dutch master. The beauty and serenity of these flowers behind her give her something untouchable.”

4. “The soil I grew up in was Catholic, so I made her a saint. The gold leaf gave even more stature to her presence.”

5. “A bird design on her dress, and Altinaï was ready to be shown to wherever I was taking her.”