To paint a realistic reproduction of an old or modern master requires of the painter not only great talent and skill in all the traditional painting techniques, but also a high level of academic knowledge relating to their application.
Such skills are still taught to this day - not in many places - but in a number of the Ecoles des Beaux Arts (Fine Art Schools and departments) often linked to some of the older universities and academies of continental Europe.
Mezzo Mondo Fine Art is a pan-European organisation formed with the express purpose of harnessing the best talent coming from some of these institutions and giving it a voice - globally. Our painters are recruited and employed by us directly. Many are highly talented artists in their own right who rely on our support and patronage whilst slowly developing their burgeoning careers.
We are based in the part of France which brought into the world Ingres and Toulouse-Lautrec - a region still a haven for artists seeking inspiration from its luminescent landscapes and sun-drenched vistas. Nor are we far from the former Mediterranian studios of Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse and a host of celebrated 20th century artists. Steeped in these traditions, it is perhaps unsurprising that we specialise in reproductions of the European, and particularly French, masters from the 16th to the 19th century.
Our paintings, each one individually handcrafted by a skilled and dedicated artist, are guaranteed to be of the highest quality and fidelity to the original, but are affordably priced and can be shipped to most International destinations.
Our marketing arm - including the Arcadian Galleries website - acts as an interface between our artists and a world-wide clientele - which is predominately based in northern Europe, North America and Australasia.
Our artists have studied in some of the most famous museums and academies in Europe, and they paint only using oils (or guache, tempera, etc as necessary) on the highest quality French or Belgian linen canvas. Where appropriate, to reflect the finish of the originals as closely as possible, a varnish is applied during the final painting and as a surface finish - either matt, medium or gloss - using traditional Florentine techniques.
All the above take time - and so does the drying - several phases of which might be required to finish a complex painting.
The result paintings however can be categorised in many respects as 'museum quality'.
Clearly such quality, through the ability of our artists and their materials, must be reflected somewhere in the price. However, to keep our paintings affordable and to enable us to compete internationally, we keep our administration and associated overheads to a minimum and do not demand the huge mark-ups and profits typical of today's art trade. Indeed much of our profit is re-invested in our historical research and our painters.
For the above reasons, and since we represent human beings and not machines, we do not encourage the approaches of dealers, nor do we desire to sell in high volume - this would not be appropriate to maintaining high standards of workmanship.
Our deliveries are quoted as approximate only and, whilst we make every effort to deliver in a timely manner, painting is not something which can be rushed - firstly we must wait for the availability of an artist specialising in the applicable style or period, then there is the all-important drying - and the length of time required for this depends on the humidity at the time.
We therefore kindly request our customers to have patience and - unless we are supplying from stock - not to order paintings for presents or special occasions where timing is critical without ordering well in advance of the date. We pride ourselves in exercising great diligence in looking after our clients' interests and every effort will be made to progress all orders as efficiently as possible.