Like the cabbage, the cauliflower is a rustic, peasant vegetable, with none of the romance of smooth, gemlike cherries, the dark exoticism of aubergines or even the subtle Impressionist bronze of onions. There has been an occasional great cauliflower painting (George Lambert’s wonderfully illuminated cumulus of 1926, and, slightly earlier, Alfred Hirv’s snowy composition with cucumbers and onions). These are just very good paintings of still-life arrangements, however; they lack Stephen Rose’s ability to imbue the most unpromising and humble organism with a profound inner life. His cauliflower is unadorned and almost untrimmed; it lies in its Baroque swathe of blue-green leaves, meditating on its own transience, one leaf trailing like a broken wing, beginning to darken and wilt; a pure, creamy memento mori, like an ivory skull, set in an abandoned and undefined space which prickles with apocalyptic imminence.
Stephen Rose was born in 1960 in Rochford, Essex. His early life was spent in Sevenoaks, Kent .
He trained at Medway College of Art (1979-80), Cheltenham College of Art and Technology (1980-83) BA (Hons), The British School in Rome (1982)
He won a scholarship to attend The Royal Academy of Art (1983-86) R.A dip.
In 1992 he was elected a Brother of the Art Workers Guild.
He has won numerous awards: The British Institute Award,1983, The Greenshield Painting Prize, The Royal Academy Painting Prize 1984,The Landseer scholarship 1985,The Richard Ford Traveling Scholarship,1986 (where he studied at the Prado, Madrid) The Royal Overseas League International Painting competition ,Travel Prize,1987 (travelling in Northern India) The RBA , Gordon Hulston Memorial Prize, 2010.
His works also featured in the National Portrait Gallery (BP portrait competition 1995).
In 2001 he had his first one-man show at Target, in Munich.
In 2005 he had a painting chosen from the RA Schools Alumni, by Border Poets, as a subject for an anthology of poetry, at the Martin’s Gallery, The Cheltenham Literary Festival.
His paintings have also been exhibited at the following: Burlington Fine Art; Art and Soul, Bonhams; The Spa Galleries, Tunbridge Wells; ICA, The Mall Galleries; Royal Society of Portrait Painters; The Royal Society of British Artists; Mark Mitchell paintings and drawings (including exhibition in 2013 The Hungry Eye); The Kent Painters group since 2006; Berkeley Fine Art Fair; Olympia Fine Art Fair and Sybilla Steadelmeyer Gallery Berlin.
Clients include: Baroness Alexandra Steinbeis von Bulow; Lee Childs (author); Amelie de Airault (former editor of photography French Vogue); Huawei Corporation China.
His paintings have appeared in the following Books:
Dear Christo: Memories of Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter, Timber Press 2010
Drawn from Paradise: Errol Fuller, Sir David Attenborough, Harper Collins 2012
Publications: How to paint in Oils, Winsor & Newton , Search Press 2008.