Ralf Heynen is a fine arts painter from Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Despite the first impression of a sophisticated and detailed picture his technique is based upon light and tonality and typical brushstrokes. These strong light effects and the subtle use of colour are typical for his work.
Ralf Heynen is an autodidact painter, having learned the trade by studying 17th-century masters like Vermeer. The works of Russian realists and Singer Sargent were a huge inspiration. Many copies and experiments followed, and little by little he developed his own style. He has always been interested in foreign cultures, especially from the Orient. While traveling in the Middle East and Asia Ralf was inspired by different building styles and patterns and incorporated these in his paintings.
After travelling through the Caucasus in 2006, he was especially touched by the ruins of secluded Armenian monasteries. This experience formed the start of a series of paintings of dilapidated churches in which light and texture played an important role.In 2011 Ralf returned to his former passion, portraits and figure paintings. He is mainly inspired by the interaction of the model and its environment. Recently, he started a series entitled The silent beauty of contemplation, in which his models pose at the waterside. The reflection of the water enhances the image of the inward-looking woman, a beauty ideal that is at odds with the fast pace of our society.
Ralf puts his figures in a quiet position of rest and contemplation. The play of light and texture play an important role in the composition. His love of fine fabrics and intricate patterns in a dilapidated environment is also clearly visible in this series, creating a contrast between the model and background. Because of this tension an almost mystical atmosphere is created, engendering a sense of loss and alienation.