Fine art photography in studio

Portraits inspired by the painting The "Virgin in Prayer" by Sassoferrato

This is the second article about a personal project to create portraits inspired by famous fine art paintings.

Here you will read about the original painting and check the photographic results.  I photographed two great models for this and I loved the results we achieved in both cases.

A print version of the photo with Natasha has received a silver award in the 2016 AIPP awards (APPA).

Can you send me your comments? Which image do you like best?

Click in the image to see it larger.

The original painting

Virgin in Prayer by Sassoferrato

Sassoferrato  (1609 – 1685)

The Virgin in Prayer,  1640 – 50

Oil on canvas, 73 x 58 cm (The National Gallery – London – Third floor room 29/31)

Sassoferrato, also known as Giovanni Battista Salvi, was a seventeenth century Italian painter. His artwork was largely influenced by fifteenth and sixteenth century artists such as Guido Reni (1575-1642) and Pierre Mignard (1612-1695). Sassoferrato’s paintings hold an immaculate attention to detail within the use of shadows and soft textures of blue, red and off whites.

As seen in The Virgin in Prayer, the subject’s head dress is brightly lit while shadows are softly cast over her face. This technique offers a sense of humility and purity as the virgin’s line of direction is correspondingly down cast. While the virgin appears to be distant from the observer, it nevertheless holds a tender position as a nurse watches over a patient or a mother over her child.

Read more about this painting using the following link:

Sassoferrato at the National Gallery of Victoria
Virgin in Prayer - Fine art in studio
Virgin in Prayer with Tash Jenkins
The Virgin in Prayer with Gennie
The Virgin in Prayer with Gennie


Natasha Jenkins is 19 years old and enjoys acting in her spare time. In the future, she hopes this passion develops into a career. She is currently working as a children’s entertainer focusing mostly on birthday parties, school fetes, and kindergarten programmes.

Tash enjoys putting herself out there to new experiences and stepping out of her comfort zone.

Contact details: 0408 103 304; [email protected]

Genie K

Genie has been a performer from a young age and has loved being onstage as a Ballroom Dancer on an international scale. She is also a doctor outside of performing arts, and brings her passion and dedication to everything that she does.

Having won the title of Miss Earth Australia Water in 2015, Genie has found new confidence and has enjoyed coming back to performing and modelling. She is a hard worker, reliable, easy going and fun-loving. She enjoys new experiences and challenges and is always willing to push her limits! Genie loves adventure and is also passionate about health and the environment.

Contact Eugenia Koulaeva by email [email protected]

Debbie Jenkins (Costume designer)

Debbie is the head of wardrobe for the National theatre ballet in the National theatre in St Kilda since 2008 and has participated in numerous professional productions in Melbourne and all around Australia. It was really a pleasure and fun working with Debbie.

Contact Debbie by email [email protected]

Isabella Linaker-Kappos (Makeup artist)

Isabella is a Melbourne based makeup artist and she has always had a passion for the creative field.

From an early age she knew this was the path to take.

Isabella is a freelance makeup artist, who studied a Diploma of Specialist Makeup at the Australian College of Hair design and Beauty in 2015.  She has started building her portfolio with local photographers.

Recently, Isabella participated on a short film called “No Homo” at Swinburne University.

She is looking forward to expanding her portfolio.

Bella can be contacted via email: [email protected] or Instagram: @bella_artistry


  • Langmuir, E. The National Gallery Companion Guide. (pp. 252-254). National Gallery Company, London: Yale University Press.
  • Vaughan, G. (n.d.). Sassoferrato at The National Gallery of Victoria. Retrieved from

Contact the photographer Jose Aguiar

Jose would love to talk to you directly about this project and all about photography and video productions.

Phone: 0417509955