Birgitte Knaus has established a wide international reputation
as a portraitist, and her work has been well received by the public
at large. The timeless quality inherent in her portraits can be
attributed in part to her Viennese father, who was an outstanding
realistic painter of considerable repute and who mastered
his art with sensitivity and attention to detail.
Birgitte was born in Bilbao, Spain, she went to Venezuela and
then Chile with her family, where she remained for the first fifteen
years of her life, until her father decided in 1963 to return
to Europe to build a new life for his family. After finishing
school in Spain, Birgitte received private tuition in Germany
from the portraitist Werner Schramm in Düsseldorf. Portraiture
soon became her guiding passion. Art connoisseurs rapidly recognized
her talent and she embarked upon her professional career in 1967
using charcoal/fusain on soft corn-coloured paper as her medium.
Birgittes great interest in physiognomy, anatomy and psychology,
as well as the technique of traditional portraitists, deepened
her own experience and understanding and nurtured her own development.
Her portraits demonstrate perception and sensitivity to her subjects
personality as seen through the eyes of an artist with a deep
Birgittes use of colour and the purity and power of her
line is also due to her extraordinary talent, her dynamic and
inquisitive mind, her power of perception, both of the spiritual
and concrete, which lend a special radiance to her work and capture
the very essence of the sitter.
This is successfully contrasted with the decorative, two-dimensional
quality of the background. Delicately drawn plants, fabrics and
objects - that often characterize the sitter - are subtly suggested
in a manner in which only a sensitive artist can communicate,
a manner that compliments the sitter without leading the eye away
from the focal point of the composition.
Despite the technical finish of her work, there is nothing stilted
or affected in her style. The overall impression is one of fluidity
and freshness. Birgitte has successfully assimilated the influence
of the masters she most admires, while at the same time creating
a form of expression that is entirely her own.
She has been acclaimed and commissioned in England, Germany, Spain,
Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Greece, Iran, the Philippines
and, recently, extensively in the U.S.A. Her exhibitions in St.
Moritz, Gstaad, Monte Carlo and, most recently, in London have
received highly favourable reviews. The basis of her unusual success
has been brought about by private recommendations of clients and
by portrait connoisseurs.
In the midst of her success, Birgittes enthusiasm for her
work and her creative power is continuously emerging and evolving.
(The artist wishes to express her thanks to the late Dr. P. Berry
for this text.)
Birgitte Knaus is a member of a family of artists.
Knaus is a Magic Realist painter.