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Raphael Revisited- signed limited inkjet print with metallic ink and silkscreen glaze by British contemporary artist Tom Phillips.
Silkscreen version of Tom Phillips' 1972 oil on canvas 'After Raphael', inspired by Phillips' fascination with the Golden Section. The Golden Section is a divine and ideal proportional relationship, a geometrical term that has fascinated architects, artists and mathematicians from the Renaissance onwards, it has been seen as a mystical harmony that pervades all nature.
Phillips writes, 'As in the paradox of the poet freed by rhyme, the artist can be liberated by a system of great rigidity.'
When we think of the renaissance fascination with this theory works such as Leonardo da Vinci's 'Vitruvian Man' or the buildings of Palladio spring to mind. Phillips' preoccupation with mystical proportions 'crops up whenever my work causes me to look back to an Italy or a Greece of the past for inspiration'.
Raphael Revisitied is a transcription of a Votive picture, Umbrian School c. 1490-1500 that Phillips became familiar with at the Walker Art Gallery whilst judging the John Moores Prize in 1972, and which has been attributed to the young Raphael. Phillips has reworked this image according to the Golden Section. This is a process that Phillips has experimented with throughout his career, 'It was in the seventies however (this obsession seems to return at regular intervals) that I made my most concentrated effort to construct a picture according to the dictates of such a network of co-ordinates'. Having decided to make a work based on the little votive picture Phillips examined the work and found a lack of geometrical basis in the original, 'This very absence of order decided me to abandon the copy and work on a picture in which an imposed system would conflict with the compositional arrangement of the original'.Phillips also changed the format of the work from landscape to portrait.
Phillips created a version of the picture in the form of a diptych with one canvas showing all the constructional elements and the other the finished painting. He also made a larger single version After Raphael that combines both elements on one surface where the network of lines which guided every nuance and interval of its configuration can still be clearly discerned. It is from this version that Raphael Revisited is reproduced.
An excerpt from After Raphael features on the cover of Brian Eno's 'Another Green World' album 1975.