Frye Art Museum

Seattle, Washington

(206) 622-9250


Old Master Dialogues: Paintings, Watercolors, and Drawings hy Melville Holmes

October 2 through November 29, 1998


The Frye Art Museum will mount an exhibition by Spokane-based artist Melville Holmes (b. 1950) with a selection of oil paintings reminiscent of the Masters, beginning October 2, 1998. For the past twenty-five years, Holmes has intensively studied the workshop practices of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European painters and sought to apply their materials and procedures to his own art.

Holmes does not attempt to copy or imitate older styles. He uses traditional techniques, such as the preparation of paints and varnish based on recipes found in older manuscripts, to recapture the physical quality that characterized works painted before the advent of commercial oil paints.

The artist confines himself to using a limited older palette, which ranged from only thirteen to twenty-three colors. Holmes' subjects include classic images of flower and seashell studies, musical instruments, portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. While some of the landscapes are imaginary, others depict specific views of Northern California and eastern Washington. Many of the works are mounted in frames designed and constructed by the artist.


From top to botom: Still Life with Helmet Shell, 1992, oil on canvas, 18 x 22 inches; Still Life with Salt and Vinegar, 1994, oil on canvas, 16 x 22 inches; Carnegie Library Petaluma, CA, 1987, oil on canvas, 6 x 9 inches.


Artist's date of birth corrected 9/1/99.

rev. 11/26/10

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