Original Works by the Master Painters

with Re-creations by Yanusz Gilewicz
'Birth of Venus' by Sandro Boticelli  'Birth of Venus' re-creation by Yanusz Gilewicz

'Peasant Wedding' by Pieter Brougel  'Peasant Wedding' re-creation by Yanusz Gilewicz

“Birth of Venus” by Sandro Boticelli and “Birth of Venus” re-creation by Yanusz Gilewicz (left);
“Peasant Wedding” by Pieter Brougel and “Peasant Wedding” re-creation by Yanusz Gilewicz (right).

As he re-creates the works of the master painters, Yanusz Gilewicz attempts to assimilate the painting techniques of each original. As this re-creative process evolved, Gilewicz discovered that he needed to develop the ability to “see through” the surface of the original painting. As a consequence, he worked to rediscover movements of a particular master’s hand and brush strokes, and his method of inserting form, color, and mood into the painting. He learned that some of the masters were emotional and spontaneous while some were sensitive and exerted extraordinary patience. Gilewicz’ own style, he admits, is toward a painting method that reflects sensitivity, patience, and skill.

Unfinished 'Adoration of the Magi' with detail from 'Madonna with Child' by Leonardo da Vinci  final step (#7) of re-creation of 'Madonna with Child' by Yanusz Gilewicz

“Madonna with Child” detail from “Adoration of the Magi” by Leonardo da Vinci with Steps 1 through 7 re-creations by Yanusz Gilewicz. (Click image for all steps in a high resolution)

Gilewicz’ greatest respect goes to those painters who have left few clues as to their painting techniques and are, as a result, the most difficult to decipher and re-create. Leonardo da Vinci is a notable example. Nevertheless, the more difficult Gilewicz finds the recreation, the greater he finds the challenge. In his quest for re-creations, he tends to exclude the works of abstractionists like Jackson Pollock, since he believes those works tend be more “accidental paintings” than works with a “specific” design.

Gilewicz also suggests that re-created work is significantly different from “copying” or simple “replication.” A re-creation, he notes, stems from his “inner artistic self” even though the finished, re-created work bears a remarkable resemblance to the master’s original. Nonetheless, the re-created work is significantly different from the original in that numerous and intentional changes have been made and can be discovered upon careful observation. Gilewicz refers to the philosophy of Professor Wladislaw Tatarkiewicz who wrote The History of Six Notions: “Human works can be analyzed from various points-of-view and those that appear new in one aspect are not new in another…. Every spring new leaves grow on a tree that is not new and the process itself is not new either. It is very much the same with all products of man. Whatever man does is in some way similar to something that has been done before and is in some way different.”

'Three Graces', detail from 'La Primavera' by Sandro Boticelli  'Three Graces', detail from 'La Primavera' by Yanusz Gilewicz

'Hunters' by Pieter Brougel  'Hunters' by Yanusz Gilewicz

The following is a list of works by the master painters that Yanusz Gilewicz has re-created over a span of nearly 40 years (the masters are listed in order of their significance):

Leonardo da Vinci (8 re-creations),
Botticelli ( 4 re-creations),
Michelangelo (3 re-creations),
Bouguereau (3 re-creations),
Bruegel the Elder (2 re-creations)

and

Caravaggio, Bellini, Bronzino, Raphael, El Greco, Velazques, Rembrandt, Vermeer, David, Jacques, Klimt, Modigliani, Mattisse, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Magritte, Dali