Ray Donley

“I am a painter who, against all odds, creates Baroque-inspired, psychologically charged fictional portraits that seek to illuminate aspects of the human condition.” - Ray Donley

Ray  Donley

Ray Donley

Ray Donley Biography


Since 1981, Ray has exhibited in numerous museums, universities and galleries throughout the US, Europe and Mexico.

EDUCATION 1980 B.F.A., The University of Texas at Austin, summa cum laude


Ray Donley Description


Ray Donley was born in Austin, Texas, in 1950. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, graduating summa cum laude in 1981. He completed his master's degree in art history with particular focus on Dutch and Spanish baroque art.

Donley is what is known as a New Old Master, newly uncovering the subtleties and mysteries of old style oil painting method for a modern audience. He masters oil painting, using chiaroscuro to define the features of his models. And while, he may be getting his inspiration from the Great Masters from the XVIIth century, he has created his very own...very contemporary world with his series Los Bien Perdidos (the profoundly lost ones).

The expressions of his fictional subjects are enigmatic and ambiguous. The absence of movement is noticeable in all the paintings. They are frozen for eternity, yet they will be as relevant tomorrow as they were yesterday. They are forever provoking, disturbing and fascinating.

Ray Donley Statement


“I choose to use such imagery and technique as a point of departure for exploring a world that is idiosyncratic, personal, and capable of transcending time and place. And whereas much of the portraiture of the Renaissance and Baroque sought to reveal something of the state of mind of the subject, there is an aspect of my work that seeks to turn this idea around by presenting a kind of imagery that, instead, reveals something about the state of mind of the viewer.” 

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