- 16 x 20 inches
- © 2012
- Oil on Panel, Framed
Heliogabalus (203-222 CE)
Third century Roman Emperor, Heliogabalus, was born around 203 in Emisia in Syria (modern day Homs) to a Roman father and Syrian mother. Within a year of his assassination, Caracalla’s maternal aunt Julia Maesa instigated a revolt to have her eldest grandson, Heliogabalus placed on the throne. At barely fourteen, he began a reign noted by contemporaries for its extreme decadence, and was one of the most reviled Roman emperors to early historians.
Though married five times, his great lover was his blond charioteer, Hierocles, and he would say, “[I am] delighted to be called the mistress, the wife, the Queen of Hierocles.” Modern writers suspect that he was probably transgendered. He also ran a brothel out of the palace and pimped himself out to the Praetorian Guard wearing women’s clothing, wigs, and makeup.
After alienating the Senate and people alike, he was assassinated in 222.
Paul Morin’s works are included in private collections on five continents. Paul paints in a traditional beaux-arts style, and by stripping context from his figures; his works are decidedly modern with images that meet the viewer and a sense of scale that is very individual.
“In my exploration of the human figure, I try to bring movement, expression, and impact to the physical boundaries of the canvas. ‘Scale’ is a very important concept for me — not only the size of the canvas, but how the elements fit within the canvas. I strive for immediacy and monumentality in my work. A moment caught in time but also a timeless sense of grandeur.
“My use of color relies on nature but is never a slave to it. My technique is based on the old master techniques of 17th century Italian and Flemish painters. Though rooted in tradition, my work has the impact of contemporary painting. The figures confront — they meet the viewer half way (sometimes more than half way). Through layers of under-painting, I am able to bring a sense of movement caught, which brings life to the image — an impression that the expression will change suddenly, or a muscle will ripple.
“In my works, I invite a dialog between the painting and the viewer that I hope will awaken a response as individual as each person viewing the canvas.”