Atalanta and Meleager
Study of Peter Paul Rubens' original painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
(detail of Atalanta and horn blower)
15" x 20", oil on masonite
In 1956 Safran decided to take a six-month hiatus from the grueling business of commercial art to study the works of the Old Masters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He knew that the best way to hone his skills as a fine artist was to copy the works of great artists. This he did, not to create exact copies of the originals, but to learn how they were painted - by studying the use of color, the use of light, and the composition of each work. Rubens was one of his favorite painters because of the virtuosity of the brushstroke, the luminous color and the brilliant illusion of form.