I love what I do

Birgitte Knaus has established a wide international reputation as a portraitist. 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.

Birgitte was born in Bilbao, Spain and went to Venezuela and then to Chile with her family, where she grew up for the first fifteen years of her life, until her father decided 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 Duesseldorf. Portraiture soon became her guiding passion. Art connoisseurs rapidly recognised her talent and she embarked upon her professional career using charcoal/fusain on soft corn coloured paper as her medium. She later expanded her technique using terracotta, terracotta and charcoal or pastels.

Birgitte’s great interest in physiognomy anatomy and psychology, as well as the technique of traditional portraitists, deepened her own development. Her portraits demonstrate perception and sensitivity to her subject’s personality as seen through the eyes of an artist with a deep aesthetic sense.

Birgitte’s use of colour and the purity and power of her line is 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 fabrics, objects, plants, and landscapes – that often characterise the sitter – subtly suggested in a manner 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 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, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Iran, the Philippines and recently in the USA. Her exhibitions throughout Europe have received highly favourable reviews. The basis of her unusual success has been brought about by private recommendations by clients and by portrait connoisseurs.

In the midst of her success, Birgitte’s enthusiasm for her work and her creative power is continuously emerging and evolving.

Birgitte has lived long time in London, then for a few years in Ibiza and Barcelona and presently in Vienna/Austria, while travelling extensively in Europe and the USA.

List of exhibitions

Riverside Gallerie, Wilton CT/USA, May 2005
Private exhibition in Greenwich CT/USA, June 1999
Kensington Gallery, London/UK, 1986
Johnny van Haeften Gallery, London/UK, 1982
Palace Hotel Gstaad/CH, Winter 1978
Monaco Fines Art, Monte Carlo/MC, Summer 1978
Palace Hotel St. Moritz/CH, Winter 1973/1974/1975

At work

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