New paintingsIn his CONTERFEYTER project, René Klarenbeek intends to follow his master’s example in producing, in addition to painted portraits of individuals, large-scale history paintings on classical, but nonetheless universal, themes. Just like his 17th century fellow Rembrandt pupils, in whose work it is always possible to tell who had trained them, also Klarenbeek’s painting style has also evolved in its own direction, and will continue to do so.
In this growing series of new history paintings, appropriate models are cast to act in contemporary stagings of specific 17th century subjects. The similarities and contradictions between the invited actors/actresses and their performed characters provide successive interpretive layers in the scenes of these history paintings, making these mutually agreed upon scenes just as interesting for them as for the painter. Although none of the invited actors/actresses will be acting in more than one painting, only the painter himself will be the permanent ‘steady’ in every scene. Despite the range of changing subjects, basically all art works can be seen as self-portraits of the maker. Within this growing series of new history paintings, the accumulation of different, sometimes contradicting, appearances of the painter in the different scenes will cumulate in a rather complex series of ‘conterfeytsels naer hemzelve’.