The Rich Young Man (watercolour)
Inspired by… Pompeo Batoni's Sir Gregory Page–Turner, 1768
“I have always been interested in the rich young aristocrat Englishmen who went on the ‘Grand Tour’ to Italy. This no longer happens now of course. Nowadays, all classes of people, because of air travel, visit Italy and other European countries. In the main they go for leisure, not education.
I thought who are the modern day rich young aristocrats? So Wayne Rooney came to mind. The artist painted in Minerva goddess of wisdom, I put a bust of Rooney’s girlfriend Coleen. No tomes of philosophy, but copies of ‘Hello’ and ‘OK’. No ancient ruin, but Manchester United’s stadium. Does our rich young man strive for learning and knowledge or money? Thousands flock to see him, instead of higher things in life.
I am a regular visitor to the Manchester City Art Gallery. When it closed for renovation I really missed not being able to visit. To me, the presence of an Art Gallery is a powerful sign of civilisation.
Adult education has improved my painting skills. My tutor is always helpful, cheerful and skilled. Her criticism is always constructive. It’s taught me to look, look, look! and paint what I see!"
Kevin Holt attended the Painting for pleasure class at St Mary Magdalene Church Hall in Sale.