Photographers have always drawn ideas from classic paintings and other creative disciplines, especially when it comes to portraits. Sir Patrick Stewart is the subject of one such painting-inspired fine art portrait by British celebrity portrait photographer Rory Lewis. Having started his acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the English actor eventually became best known for his iconic roles as Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Star Trek TV series and films, and Charles Xavier of the X-Men film series. All these make Stewart a fitting sitter for a modern-day rendition of the historic Triple Portrait of Charles I.
Lewis was commissioned to photograph the English actor in the style of Charles I in Three Positions, a 17th century oil painting by Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck. The artwork featured Charles I of England in three viewpoints left full profile, face on, and right three-quarter profile. The painting, now housed in the Royal Collection, was used by Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini as a reference for the marble bust of the monarch.
For his equally regal reinterpretation of the van Dyck masterpiece with Sir Patrick Stewart, Lewis had to make sure to capture three distinct expressions and merge them into a powerful triple portrait. For this, he directed the English actor into simple variations of theatrical and serious expressions. The subtle differences in the facial expressions make this triple portrait a unique and timeless depiction of one of the most iconic faces in the history of theater, film, and television.
“What emerged from the session was a complex and vigorous character, embodied by energy and animation; a side of Sir Patrick that I thoroughly enjoyed watching unfold in front of my lens.”
If you’re interested in adding this timeless portrait to your print collection, you’d better be quick, as Lewis will be creating only 10 prints, each numbered and signed. Head to Rory Lewis’ website now to find out more and grab a print.