Long Life


Oil on canvas

80 x 70 cm (31 1/2 x 27 9/16 in.)

Marlene Dumas' painting aims to depict the human figure without artifice. Death, violence and sexuality permeate each of her portraits. The lack of a background heightens their emotional impact. Long Life features the aesthetic simplicity and expressiveness that are characteristic of the artist's style, but it also exudes an extremely peaceful feeling.

Long Life is a portrait of an old man on the edge of death, lying in a halo of light. The white and grey tones heightened by purple and blue give the painting a dreamlike dimension. The light, almost transparent brushstrokes reflect the subject’s extreme delicacy. In this sensitive piece, which belongs to the genre of deathbed portraits, Dumas brings us face-to-face with our shared humanity and the fate that awaits us all.

Long Life, which is in the Pinault Collection, was exhibited for the first time at the Couvent des Jacobins in Rennes during the "Debout !" ("Stand Up!”) show.