Portraits in Fabric and Lace, by Maria Torroba... And a London Shopping Tip

Portraits in Fabric and Lace, by Maria Torroba… And a London Shopping Tip

If you like your shopping streets to have charming home decor shops, stylish one-off boutiques, a few antiques, and a good lunch or drinks spot, Walton Street in London is one of the best. Nina Campbell’s shop always seems to have exactly the thing you didn’t know you were dying […]

If you like your shopping streets to have charming home decor shops, stylish one-off boutiques, a few antiques, and a good lunch or drinks spot, Walton Street in London is one of the best.

Portrait collage by Maria Torroba, at Stephanie Hoppen gallery, London

Nina Campbell’s shop always seems to have exactly the thing you didn’t know you were dying to have, and Stephanie Hoppen’s gallery never fails to delight. These collage portraits of Renaissance queens and noblewomen were great fun. Big, too, 3 to 5 feet wide and 4 to 6 feet tall as I recall.

Portrait collage by Maria Torroba, at Stephanie Hoppen gallery, London

The exhibition was called “Fabricating History,” and the description from Hoppen’s website begins, “Maria Torroba’s compositions are visually enchanting and richly tactile, incorporating the lustre of oil painting with antique fabrics and lace embroidered by the artist’s grandmother. Her inventive take on traditional Renaissance portraiture is both quixotic and ornate, whilst steeped in regal exuberance.”

Portrait collage by Maria Torroba, at Stephanie Hoppen gallery, London

I love anything “steeped in regal exuberance” don’t you? “Quixotic and ornate” is just the icing on the cake. The exhibit ran May 13 to June 13, and luckily my brief visit coincided. After a painting workshop in Italy and a cycling trip in France, our adventures abroad concluded with a few days in London.

Portrait collage by Maria Torroba, at Stephanie Hoppen gallery, London

If you missed that riveting travelogue, here you go:
Wine, Women and Watercolors – Painting in Italy – Part 1
WWW (and Roberto) – Painting in Italy – Part 2
Letter From the Loire – Part 1
Letter From the Loire – Part 2

Portrait collage by Maria Torroba, at Stephanie Hoppen gallery, London

And now, just because I’m feeling frisky…
Bonus info: Best shopping streets in London! In researching this post I stumbled on the most amazing UK site called Street Sensation, listing London’s best shopping streets. I mean WOW, what a resource. Take a look. Here’s a photo and description of every Walton Street shop, up one side and down the other.

Portrait collage by Maria Torroba, at Stephanie Hoppen gallery, London
Portrait collage by Maria Torroba, at Stephanie Hoppen gallery, London

The current show at the Hoppen gallery is along these collage/portrait lines as well. The work of Christian de Laubadere are “a combination of French and Chinese traditions,” say the gallery notes. “Using a charcoal background and chiaroscuro technique, he paints enigmatic and fascinating pictures of the napes of women’s necks.” Sounds weird but they are beautiful, at Stephanie Hoppen gallery here.

9 Comments

  1. Linda Dabney

    These are fabulous. Collage is sorta like decoupage, which I used to do. Do you sleep! Thanks for this info…
    XO, Linda

  2. LOVE these portraits. Amazing exhibit and thank you for sharing. xo

  3. MaryWayne

    How long will that show be there?We will be there Sept 7th,Love and miss you MW

  4. These collages are fabulous! I would love to see them all hung in a long hallway. Have a great trip.
    xo, Lissy

  5. Intriguing ~ love the vibe! So perfect for ladies who lunch!

  6. Amazing as always. I’ll save this info for my next trip to London. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Linda tilley

    Very interesting…

  8. Mary Farrell

    I always stay around the corner from Walton Street and highly reccomend Percy Bass Antquities (and oddities)as well as the gastro pub “The Enterprise” tell Astrid that “Mary from NYC” sent you and you will be spoiled! They actuallty L O V E Americans there.

  9. loretta tawney

    Love these ladies.Reminds me of an art assignment in college years and years ago.These are wonderful.

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