Blue & white china has formed one of the grand luxe objects for collectors since the 16th century, at least, and thus also one of the elements of a still life composed to express opulence wealth (see Juriaen van Steek, Still life with peaches and a lemon, first half 17th century, and Cornelis van Heem, Still life with vegetables and fruit before a garden balustrade, 1658, Stadel, Frankfurt). In the 19th century blue & white china was still rare, valuable, and it was a frequent part of still life paintings, supplying the balance of a colour which is rare in natural objects (Anne Feray Mutrie, Still life of primroses, daffodils & a blue & white bowl, Christie’s, 8 November 2009). Stephen Rose’s Dragon bowl is a much starker composition; not part of nature, nor advertising its rarity, it sits in an indefinable space, with a crumpled piece of paper thrown into it. This is the subversion of the 17th century Dutch still life, pared down and minimal, with only the Prussian blue tone of the ground to offset the ultramarine of the bowl, and the subtle evocation of highlight and shade to express the glaze of the porcelain. In consequence it is projected with a powerful sense of presence, realized with every nuance of texture, gloss and eggshell fineness intact.
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.