Timeless Beauty - a journey through time

An interview with Gottfried Pammer about digital painting

Gottfried Pammer is a freelance artist. For more than 30 years he passed on his passion and inspiration as an art teacher at the Secondary School in Schärding to young creatives. For his works, he chooses portraits of women from art-historically significant paintings and uses digital image processing to bring them into a completely new, suspenseful context.

From 15 – 27th of June, his works can be seen in the Shoe Factory Outlet of the Lorenz Shoe Group in Taufkirchen/Pram. Under the title Timeless Beauty – a journey through time‘, art meets shoe craft and creates a unique shopping experience that invites you to linger and enjoy.

We met the artist and asked him some questions to get a better understanding of his works. In doing so, we were able to immerse ourselves deeply in his creative thoughts.


Your exhibition is called ‚Timeless Beauty – a journey through time‘. What does timeless beauty mean to you?

Art does not necessarily have to be beautiful, but very often it is. It is almost always women’s portrayals that enrich art with their beauty. From the Renaissance onwards, women were no longer exclusively reduced to idealised beauties, who, thanks to their chastity, were allowed to embody saints, but they were given a personality. From this point on, my journey through time begins and continues in the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, ending in Classicism and with outstanding works before and after 1900. All art styles have one thing in common: a turn to the Renaissance, the starting point of individualised, timeless beauties.


How did you come up with the idea for your works?

What makes a portrayal of women by Leonardo da Vinci or Edward Burne-Jones a picture from a bygone era? The faces are timelessly beautiful. Only the clothes and the interior are interchangeable – that made me come up with the idea. What would Leonardo’s ‚Bianca Sforza‘ look like today, 600 years later? And it is amazing how wonderfully these charming women’s portraits fit into our present age – simply ‚timeless beauties‘.


Where do you get your inspirations from?

I have dedicated myself to the arts for 40 years, in course of my studies and teaching activities. Some works impress me so much that I simply have to deal with them. As I work on an image, I always try to find an answer as to why this image triggers such a high emotional appeal in me. I believe that one simply develops personal passions in the visual arts, similar to music or literature.


Which aspects do you consider in your image compositions?

I like to call my pictures digital paintings. At the beginning is the choice of the women’s portrait. Usually it is her facial expression that decides which attitude I let her take and which clothes and surroundings suit her. For the seamless transitions of the individual image elements, scales and colour adjustments, I use the program ‚Photoshop‘.


What role does fashion play in your art?

Fashion is applied art and has long arrived in the museums of this world. In my works, fashion plays a particularly significant role. It illustrates the journey through time and provides the figure with a new image. An example: ‚Carmen, Duchesse de Montmorency‘ in Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s portrait (1860) retains her elegance even in today’s clothing. Of course, I also decide carefully which shoe the lady wears. Hardly any other piece of clothing evokes as many associations about the wearer’s spirit as a shoe. However, one thing is particularly important to me: the reinterpretation of the image should not slip into the comedic, but should maintain the high social significance of the beauty shown.

Digital image processing based on Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s portrait ‚Carmen, Duchesse de Montmorency‘, 1860.
Digital image processing based on Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait ‚La Belle Ferronniére‘, 1490-1496.

Please complete this sentence: I have a passion for… 

…shoes. As a young teacher, I taught German in Italy for one year. Without having much fashion consciousness, I had four pairs of Valentino shoes (same model, different colour) in my luggage on my return trip. An obsession that normally only women are expected to have. It is nice that we no longer have to go to Italy for elegant, modern shoe design, but that we literally have it on our doorstep! 


We are looking forward to your visit at the Shoe Factory Outlet in Taufkirchen.