Look! It’s as if the Coronavirus hit a bunch of classic paintings. Just like the effects of the Covid-19 on cities worldwide, these paintings by Jose Manuel Ballester are recreations of historically significant artworks, only they are eerily quiet and devoid of all human figures.
Classic Paintings Emptied of All Human Figures
Artist Jose Manuel Ballester has taken well-known pieces of art from the Italian and Flemish Schools of the 15th and 18th centuries and altered them to remove the figures from the scenes, allowing us to focus on the architecture and landscapes in an entirely new way. I have taken the liberty of putting the original painting above the depictions by Ballester in case you can’t recognize the artworks.
Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch and without figures by Jose Manuel Ballester:
The Third of May 1808 by Francisco Goya and without figures by Jose Manuel Ballester:
The Raft of Medusa by Theodore Gericault and without figures by Jose Manuel Ballester :
Winterlandscape with skaters and bird trap by Pieter Breugel The Elder and without figures by Jose Manuel Ballester:
San Hugo en el refectorio de los Cartujos by Francisco de Zurbarán and without figures by Jose Manuel Ballester:
Three panels from The Story of Nastagio degl Onesti by Sandro Boticelli and without figures by Jose Manuel Ballester:
And at top, The Birth of Venus by Sandro Boticelli and without figures by Jose Manuel Ballester:
Here’s a video we made to share on Social Media, if you so desire:
About the artist (from his website):
José Manuel Ballester (Madrid, born in 1960), painter and potographer, degree in Fine Arts in 1984 from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spanish Photography Award 2010.
He began his artistic career with paintings focusing on the techniques of the Italian and Flemish Schools of the 15th and 18th centuries. Starting in 1990 he began to combine painting and photography. Among his numerous expositions we would like to point out “Lugares de Paso” (Valencia 2003), “Setting Out (New York 2003) or “Habitación 523” (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid 2005). Together with other artists he participated in numerous exhibitions such as ARCO, ART CHICAGO, ART FORUM GERMANY and PARISPHOTO and cities such as Dallas, Miami, Sao Paolo, Dubai, Peking, Shanghai, Toronto, and many others.
In 1999 he was awarded the Spanish Etching Award. In 2006 he received the Goya Award for Painting of Villa de Madrid and later in 2008 he was awarded the Photography Award of the Comunidad de Madrid. Lately, he received the Spanish Photography Award 2010 on 10 November of the past year from the Ministry for Culture. The jury voted for him by the majority because of his personal history, his very peculiar interpretation of architectural space and light and his outstanding renovation of photographic techniques.
His artworks are part of the collections of MNCARS, Marugame Museum for Contemporary Spanish Art in Japan, IVAM Valencia, Art Museum Miami and Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation Miami, Central Academy of Fine Arts of Pekin, Patio Herreriano, 21 Century Museum of Kentucky, Würth Museum, Telefónica Foundation, Banco Espiritú Santo and Coca Cola Foundation among others.