Series 'Saint John's Cave of Light' - 2019 - 10 oil paintings - 8 etchings
Series 'Visions of St. John the Divine' - 2017 - 2018 - 15 oil paintings
VISIONS OF ST JOHN THE DIVINE
The series ‘Visions of St. John the Divine’ are inspired by passages of the Revelations from the Bible. In this series he tries to blend together his imagination and passages from the Revelations while keeping some freedom of interpretation for the viewer. Every painting is inspired by different passages of the Revelations.
While St. John was banned to the island Patmos (Greece) his spirit was touched by the Spirit of God to write down the Revelations. St. John dictated his visions to his pupil Prochoros who wrote down the visions. The pictures are seen through the eyes of Prochoros, who was the spectator of St. John and his visions.
Van de Graaf also interprets the Revelations as a comment on modern society and a warning towards the fragility of the earth and mankind.
During his gallery research trip to New York in 2017 he visited the ‘Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine’ in New York City (Amsterdam Avenue at 112th street). From that moment he decided to dedicate at least three series to the Revelations and St. John the Divine.
Series 'St. John's Heavens and Stars' - 2017 - 2018 - 14 oil paintings
ST. JOHN'S HEAVENS AND STARS
In the series ‘St. John’s Heavens and Stars’ Van de Graaf enlarges the situation of the Apostle St. John receiving his visions looking to the skies, the sea, the moonlight and the stars. The paintings reveal the information of the Heavens St. John is receiving in his visions. This is the source of inspiration for the 14 paintings of this series.
In these paintings he is working towards a bit more abstraction for this series while keeping the recognition of a nightscape at the seaside. The viewer is now looking directly through the eyes of St. John without an additional narrating element in the paintings (as in ‘Visions of St. John the Divine’).
Series 'The Bible and the Sea' - 2016 - 2017 - 15 oil paintings
THE BIBLE AND THE SEA
In the series ‘The Bible and the Sea’ he tries to blend together two major influences in his life, passages of the Bible and the sea, translated into symbolic interpretations (his studio and house are next to the sea). In these paintings he is working towards a balance between figuration and abstraction.
Robert van de Graaf is both referring to themes of the old masters, as to give his own modern translation and interpretation of his historical subjects. With every painting there is a sort of story board with references to biblical passages and references to paintings of the Old Masters as Rembrandt’s ‘The Storm on the Sea of Galilee’ (1632).
Series 'Mystical places in France' episode one - 2013 - 2016
Series 'Slangenburg' (NL) - 2014 - 2016
Series 'Es Vedra, Ibiza' (ES) - 2012 - 2016