Sapphire Princess new Pizzeria paintings by Istvan Bernath artist.

The renovation of the Sapphire Princess on it’s way.
Istvan Bernath artist was contracted to paint large size canvases for the new Pizzeria.
Some paintings representing the fruitful life of the Mediterranean at renaissance time. Some others give you a window to a contemporary Venice.

Q and A with Istvan Bernath in the artist studio on top of Hollywood Hills.
He published his second book about the 16 years of collaboration with Princess and Cunard Cruises.
It futures 240 paintings from more than 800 originals within the Princess and Cunard Permanent Collection.

-What inspires you to paint a piece?

Paintings on Princess Cruises follow specifications. Princess brings designer Teresa Anderson to create certain themes of an area like a restaurant. Over the years we worked together on several variations of an Italian restaurant called Sabatini’s. During my numerous visits to Italy, I fell in love with Italy’s many different regions. Nature, architecture, and people from a variety of cultures are truly inspirational to me.

-How long does it take you to finish a painting?

After a particular area has been approved, I am ready to paint all the paintings simultaneously. They are color coordinated. After I calculate the sizes from the ships architectural plans and transfer the numbers from millimeters to inches, I stretch all the canvases, and prime them. I still have time to change all imperfections when I’m drawing them on the real scale and add more details. Once I’ am ready to paint, each area, consisting approx. 6 original paintings, takes about a month to complete.

-What techniques do you use to have everything so aligned and straight?

Most of the paintings are six foot to fifty foot in width. They are not just for decorative purposes, but also create a particular ambiance . The paintings’ architectural lines extend the area of the ships real space. Using straight lines as a guide line for dimension from the four corners of the painting, meeting in the middle, creates believable three dimensional space. Since these paintings are on a moving ship,
I have to put the horizons on eye level. When a landscape or the cityscape is created, the horizon is on eye level for a more stable view. Passengers with motion sickness will not be affected. The technique is the old fashion chalk line rope, which is in a thirty-foot case. It is a necessary tool to keep lines together.

-Are the murals that you paint on the ship for sale?

No, they are not. They are part of Princesses’ permanent collection. They have specific function. I have more than eight hundred large size originals on eighteen different Princess ships.
I have smaller paintings and studies of the larger paintings in my studio in Los Angeles. A smaller scale reproduction is a solution to collect a memorable image for a private customer.

-When did you start your relationship with Princess?

In 1995, sixteen years ago. And after twenty cruise ships, I’m still excited today, as I was many years ego. There are two , the largest ever built Princess ships are coming up; named Royal Princess.

-Who are your favorite artists modern/classical?

My favorite period is the fifteen and sixteen century classics like Boticelli, Leonardo, and Raphael. The Pre Raphaelitism have re-created the classical style, using less religious subject mater, adding more refind details. I have seen many originals in our extensive travels throughout Europe.
I especially enjoy seeing the newly opened palaces in Italy, and in the Louvre, and in the Napoleon apartment .
I also enjoy Art Deco and Art Nuevo painters from the turn of the century. In downtown Los Angeles are many examples of great Art Deco and Art Nuevo paintings. Some great ones are located in the old Broadway movie theaters. I also like Tamara de Lempika. She was a very passionate painter, as well as Diego Rivera.

-Where do you paint?

I paint in my studio which is on the second level of my house. in Los Angeles.The studio has large French windows that overlook the Hollywood Hills. The house is close to Mulholland Drive. And it stretches alongside the top of the Hollywood Hills. It gives me sun all day long. My working hours are very long, when I paint for a new ship. Between ten and twelve hours, seven days a week. I can stretch a fifty foot long ten foot high painting in my studio easily. When the painting is finished, I roll it up on a tube, and is being shipped to the shipyard. That is where the installation is taking place.


About Istvan bernath

Istvan Bernath was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1953. Russians and the Hungarian communists occupied the country, and were tough on old aristocratic families. His grandmother was a baroness, and her uncle, Szemere Miklos de genere Huba,had racehorses and wild card games that were legendary throughout European and American casinos. After he passed away, baroness’ family became the largest cash holders in Hungary, until the political changes started. The communists and the Russians separated Bernath’s grandmother from her fortune, which forced his father to work on the subway as a pressure worker until he got injured. Because of his ancestors Bernath also failed to achieve what he wanted in Hungary, although he received an international honor for his art when he was ten years of age. Since the government owned all the galleries in Hungary at the time, they only accepted politically correct artists and their work. Bernath had to work in a ceramic factory during the day and paint during the night for a religious store. While working in decorative arts in the European traditional style, Bernath came to an early appreciation of beauty and power of the human figure. Bernath turned to wood and canvas, and studied the history of antiquities and the Middle Ages. Consequently Bernath’s paintings were allegorical, concealing philosophical or moral truths. Bernath was already an accomplished figurative painter, when he got married, and left Hungary for the U.S. He started to explore the Art Deco style enjoying its logical and geometrical lines, and relative simplicity. To emphasize functional design, Bernath used high lacquered wood resulting in playful and colorful figurative images, reflecting luxury, leisure and excitement. His interpretation of the Art Deco style lead to a string of highly successful exhibitions within the United States. During this time, Merv Griffin’s hotel casino, in Atlantic City, needed a life size trompe l’oeil; Bernath got the commission. He became interested in mural painting, resulting in numerous commissions in the US and Europe, including Hotels, restaurants, and other public areas. His choice of medium then shifted from wood back to canvas, using oils and acrylics. Bernath exercised his freedom to create the ever present figurative subject matter, realistic scenery and fairy tale / fantasy. His choice of style is one that is a universally appealing style, expressing exuberance and the love of life. Bernath’s ability to create and experience a variety of styles enables him to convey his feelings and emotions. During this time, he became the artist of choice for collecting by “Hollywood”. Merv Griffin, Ed McMahon, Clint Eastwood are all on the list. Bernath gets involved with a variety of charities for a variety of causes. The Waldenwood Foundation through Dyansen Gallery is the charity for Eagle’s Don Hanley; Loyola Marymout is the charity of CEO Paula Mehan for Redken Laboratories. Bay Watch star Pamela Anderson’s restaurant is also on the list. Las Vegas soon took notice, and Bernath was commissioned to create many of the public areas in the New York-New York hotel and the Show Boat hotel. Again, his versatility, understanding, interpretation, and application of style propel him to create outstanding works of art for everybody’s enjoyment. In 1995, Bernath got his first commission to create highly imaginative pieces for, at the time, the world’s largest cruise ship Princess Cruises. With this, a new chapter began in Bernath’s life. He was able and was allowed to truly experience many different styles from Art Deco to Mannerism, the Pre-Raphaelite Style, Realism and so on. The Bernath Collection on the Princess Cruise Ships consists of more than 800 large size originals. Each are painted on canvas and installed permanently on each ship for a specific location, creating a desirable ambiance. He became the principal artist for Princess’s permanent collection part taking in the artistic creations of all their newly built eighteen ships. Today, to keep up with high demands in the U.S. and abroad, Bernath’s work is being published making it available for individual collectors and connoisseurs of art.

Posted on November 17, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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