It may be that a copy is never as good as an original, but Italian artist Daniele Dondé's reproductions of famous paintings sure come close. An exhibition of his works will be on show in Varna until July 23 2008 at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Business Park Varna.
Dondé has been known for making copies of paintings by names like Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Paul Gaugin, Gustave Klimt, Amedeo Modigliani, Edgar Degas and Leonardo da Vinci, among others, for more than 20 years.
In fact, the show in Bulgaria is not only works by Dondé, but by a whole team of 10 of his reproductionists.
To achieve such exact copies, the artists take the original images and reproduce them inch by inch, including every minute detail, in the new work. To obtain the look of originals, the artists use specially aged canvases and paints that are as close as possible to the composition of those used in eras past.
On his websitehttp://www.danieledonde.com, Dondé says that he became interested in this profession after having discovered that some 50 per cent of the art in his father's collection were fakes; instead of becoming permanently depressed, he decided to work with such reproduction artists and legitimatise their craft, the agreement being that they work solely for him.
Works shown at the Varna exhibition will be specially priced for the Bulgarian public, ranging from 500 to 2500 euro, Dnevnik daily wrote on July 16. A certificate of authenticity from Dondé's studio accompanies each purchase.
The show in Bulgaria has been made possible by Koicho Belchev, a Dondé collaborator in painting. Belchev, born in 1922, comes from a long line of influential tobacco industry players; his family served as the prototype for the family in Bulgarian author Dimitar Dimov's novel Tyutyun (Tobacco). After communism entered Bulgaria, he went to Switzerland, going on to graduate from a university in Zurich in the late 1940s, where he studied under Karl Jung. Working in the financial sphere in New York City, US, for 22 years, he eventually become owner of the (now defunct) Hayden, Stone & Co. He has been working with Dondé since 1990. At present, Belchev lives in Switzerland.
Belchev helped bring an exhibition of Dondé's works to Bourgas back in August 2006. In May 2003, 72 Dondé paintings were shown in Plovdiv; the year before that, his works were shown in Sofia and Varna, where 170 canvases were sold. All of this was on Belchev's initiative.