As a teenager, Zurich photographer Katharina Lütscher spent an exchange year in the Dutch city of Haarlem, where she saw the paintings of Frans Hals for the first time. “It’s quite possible that I was influenced by that,” she says.
Lütscher’s work “Old Master” is an example of how the visual formulas of the old European masters continue today. What had begun as a still life, she carried on with her painter friend Julia Sheppard as a series of portraits.
“I had the thought that previously models would have to remain in the same position for days on end. I wanted my models to sit in front of the camera with exactly that idea in mind. As a result, each of them were overcome by a total calmness within just a few minutes,” she said.
The quality of the lighting plays a central role in every picture in the series. “I always approached light in the same manner. I imagined a dark room in the past in the Netherlands with a small, badly cleaned window as the only source of light. The dark space and meagre light emit an unbelievable calm, which is transmitted to the work in the studio.”
(Images: Katharina Lütscher, Text: Thomas Kern, swissinfo.ch)