event painting italy

Have You Ever Heard of Event Painting?


People often ask me “what do you do as a profession?” and I reply that I am an artist that paints at Luxury Events such as weddings or corporate gatherings, they are often quite surprised. “Oh, I’ve never heard of that before” is usually their reactive phrase. I too am surprised that they have never heard of Event Painting

Contemporary Event Painting

The contemporary concept of Event Painting is where a professional artist is hired to capture on canvas a prestigious celebration or event. They start and finish in the same evening with some minor retouching in the studio in the following days. It takes a great amount of skill and years of practice to be able to paint with such speed and the result is a fresh, gestural and bright coloured painting. These paintings are often small although some may be large.

My Approach to Grand Luxury Event Painting

As an Event Painter living in Italy for 30+ years, I have been strongly influenced by the incredible abundance of art here. I am surrounded by the Renaissance masters with their timeless techniques, composition and colours. Breathing in the Italian artistic cultural heritage, I feel that I have an opportunity and an obligation to elevate Event Painting as an art form and therefore come to adopt a different approach to the craft by (the below points will be future blog posts, I can already tell!):

  • focusing on creating one of a kind compositions 
  • including the richest of fine detail in the figures of my paintings
  • striving to create museum quality paintings 
  • creating grand scale paintings worthy of my clients

Let’s not deviate from my initial intention when penning this article: Have you ever heard of Event Painting? I simply wanted to point out that the painting of events, and specifically weddings, has a long tradition in European Art History. I have put together just a few examples from different painting schools and countries so that you too can appreciate the various compositions and themes. Maybe they will inspire you for your wedding painting. Of course the paintings below were painted surely after the couples’ wedding and not during the event itself. Perhaps models and/or the couple themselves posed for the artist. Either way, I hope you find this small collection inspiring for your future Event Painting.

Historical Event Paintings

Jan van Eyck The Arnolfini Portrait 1434 Oil on oak, 82.2 x 60 cm, National Gallery UK

You can view an exquisite reproduction at the link above, zoom up close to appreciate it. There is also an in-depth description of the painting which is full of symbolism and insight. I highly recommend checking it out. This is perhaps more of a wedding portrait but represents their wedding day.

‘Blessing of the Young Couple Before Marriage’ by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret, 1880Oil on canvas
99,5 х 143 cm., The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

I had the pleasure of viewing this painting in person at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow in 2021. It is of the intimate moment of receiving a blessing in the family or couples’ home. I really love the warmth it evokes and its lighting.

painting of jewish wedding ceremony
‘A Jewish wedding’ by Josef Israels, 1903, Courtesy of Wiki Commons. This painting can be seen in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Holland

This is also an intimate painting focusing on just the couple with a few family members I imagine.

painting of russian bride scene
“The Russian Bride’s Attire”: by Konstantin Mokovsky, 1889 – Oil On Canvas, Dimensions: 110 x 147 (279.4 x 373.4 cm)

I had the pleasure of viewing this quite large painting at the Legion of Honour in San Francisco a couple of years ago and was in awe of its detail and how perfectly Mokovsky captured the expressions of all the women in the room.

wedding feast painting
“The Wedding Feast” by Antonio Ricci, 19th century

A joyous painting in a humble setting, I certainly love the little details such as the cats and chickens.

I hope you enjoyed this brief collection of historical event paintings and hope you have found it inspiring. Let me know which one is your favourite in the comments below.


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