Jean Melville Rose British, b. 1933



Trained at Bath Academy of Art, Jean Melville Rose is a prolific painter of frescoes in the true sense (buon fresco) as used by the Ancient Pompeians and many of her Still Life subjects retain broadly Classical influences such as Pompeian and Georgian vessels, bowls, and arrangements.


The ancient technique of fresco entails rapidly painted pigment onto wet plaster (in this case, overlaid on board), so that the colours penetrate the plaster and become fixed as it dries. Rose also then uses palette knives to press the paint into the plaster, adding texture and pattern. Sometimes an emulsion of lime powdered marble and wax is worked onto the surface of the painting once dry, and polished back, to give a slight sheen which preserves and adds lustre to the works. This technique is called ‘Stucco lucido’ referring to the play of light on the material.


Rose’s solo exhibitions since 1960s have shown in Bath, Cambridge, London, Madrid, California and Mexico. Rose’s work can be found in various public collections, including, Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles; Kettles Yard Museum, Cambridge. Notable private collectors include E.M.Forster; Vincent Price, amongst others.