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In MASTERS GALLERY there are only creative and prominent art masters that you can admire. Artist Thea van Dijk admires powerful women who have meant something to the world. She uses Indian ink to put their most beautiful creations on canvas in a minimalist way. The focus is mainly on the eyes and that is where the power of her work originated. By looking for the essence in the eyes and highlighting it on the canvas as vividly as possible, controversial paintings are created. Thea highlight three masterpieces by iconic power women.Online Editor: Larissa Schaule Jullens
Image: Thea van Dijk

Audrey Hepburn

“Audrey is an iconic movie star from the '60s. She starred in legendary films, among others my fair lady en Breakfast at Tiffany's. Audrey has Dutch roots and can rightly be called a power woman. During the Second World War she worked for the Dutch resistance, despite the fact that her parents were Nazi sympathizers. She also raised money with her dancing talent to support the resistance. Audrey was not only praised for her elegance and beauty, but also with her acting talent she won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award. When Audrey retired from the acting world, she emerged as a philanthropist. She was an ambassador for UNICEF and was honored by George HW Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

I have emphasized her deep brown eyes in this portrait. Here I read her strength, elegance and vulnerability. On August 21, 2021 (postponed a year due to Covid-19), this portrait will be auctioned during the Herman van Veen VIP Gala in Düsseldorf. Herman is an activist for the human rights of the child. His goal is to support children and young people, anywhere in the world, in their development so that they can develop and express their talents in all respects. I feel honored that Herman, who was close friends with Audrey, has asked me to auction this work for his foundation. All children deserve the same opportunities, especially in these times. That is why this painting has a special place in my heart and I hope for a nice proceeds for this good cause.”

Lady Diana

“Lady Diana should of course not be missing among the power women. I have already immortalized the Princess of Wales on canvas three times and sold all three almost immediately. In this portrait I wanted to emphasize her vulnerable but also powerful look. In her eyes you can read not only her shyness, but also her somewhat naughty character and unbridled perseverance. The challenge was to emphasize this on canvas with as few lines as possible. This portrait represents my motto less is more perfect weather. I often leave out lines and details of the face. Your eyes don't see the lines, but your mind does. The mind fills this in itself, I still wonder about that. That's the magic of my work. The Queen of The People's Hearts is still sorely missed. 23 years after her death, she is still praised. She was the essence of compassion, perseverance and absolute beauty. Diana is a symbol of selfless humanity worldwide.”

Brigitte Bardot

“I have often painted the timeless sex symbol Brigitte Bardot and continue to do so, just like Marilyn Monroe. I have immortalized both great movie stars on canvas several times and I could hardly choose between these two. For this article I chose this large canvas by Brigitte Bardot. As a French fashion model, Brigitte made waves as an actress and singer la douce France. And as a mischievous romper and frivolous pin-up girl, she quickly made an international splash. In addition to her work as an actress, model and singer, Brigitte is also an animal rights activist. She took up this role at a later point in her life and led to her saying goodbye to her life as a movie star in the spotlight. This work on canvas measures 150 by 150 cm and depicts Brigitte as recalcitrant, timeless and sexy. A photo of Brigitte on the beach with her hair in the wind and sultry look inspired me to immortalize this work. The cigarette represents her recalcitrance and I find this painting very appropriate at this time. We live in difficult times, in necessary restrictions, just as far away from the freedom we enjoyed so much last year. This portrait reflects that bit of longing for the past.”