Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Caption: Standing Male Nude, Back View
Artist: Maximilian Spilhacezk (1876-1961)
Medium: Black and white chalks on paper
Additional examples of Spilhacezk's work:
The Ludwig von Hofmann print Reife Fruchte (directly above) arrived yesterday and I must say it is beautiful. I can always count on the Galerie-Jacobsa in Neurnberg to provide quality works. The subject matter is typical of von Hofmann's Symbolist roots. His subject matter is somewhat academic in execution. The print itself is mounted in a paper frame and at the bottom of the frame there is an embossed stamp from the publisher. The print was printed by Freunde Graphische Kunst, Leipzig in 1916. I have included photographs of other von Hofmann works (paintings and prints)at the top of this post to give you an idea of his other Symbolist works. You can see the recurring themes in his work. I have one more Ludwig von Hofmann print in my collection and I will post that as soon as I can photograph it.
Monday, April 26, 2010
The Academie des Beaux-Arts was founded in an effort to distinguish artists "who were gentlemen practicing a liberal art" from craftsmen, who were engaged in manual labor. This emphasis on intellectual component of art production had a considerable impact on the subjects and styles of Academic Art.
Paris Salons were held in the Salon d'Apollon in the Palais du Louvre in Paris. They were enormously influential in establiching officially approved styles and in molding public tastes in art. They helped consolidate the Royal Academy's dictatorial control over the production of fine art.
Academic Art was in fashion in Europe from the 17th to 19th century.
darks. The main purpose of mass drawing is to develop one's perception of lights and darks (values), and to prepare the student for learning to paint in oils. There are a number of methods for teaching drawing. The method used in the classical atelier and in modern studios devoted to classical methods is the sight-size method.
Sight-size drawing is the method wherein the easel is positioned in such a way as to facilitate the drawing of the subject exactly the same size as the subject itself appears from the student's chosen vantage point. This vantage point, usually marked on the floor with a piece of tape, should be far enough away from the paper or canvas to allow the artist to see the entire drawing or painting at once and to also see the subject at the same time. This side-by-side comparison between the subject and the drawing makes it easy to spot errors in the drawing, which can then be corrected before they can throw off subsequent judgements by the artist. All angles and proportions are rendered exactly as they are observed and measured from the chosen vantage point. Measuring is accomplished usually by the use of a plumb bob. The sight-size method may be used for drawing on a reduced scale as well, simply by placing the easel where the image of the subject is the right size for the paper or canvas. It is best suited for beginning and intermediate students.
The modern classical atelier approach to art education has its roots in the guilds of the early Renaissance period. For centuries master artists transmitted their knowledge and technique to their apprentice students. This tradition reached its zenith in the second half of the 19th century, when Ateliers and Academies prepared thousands of artists. Skill-based instruction in the 19th century was centered on the observation of nature, sound artistic principles, and universal themes. One reference source that will give you a good history of 19th century methods is Gerald M. Ackerman's book: Charles Bargue _ Drawing Course. The book illustrates the various lithographs students used to copy in the Bargue Drawing Course. Above is illustrated one of the lithographs in Bargue's course. When I visited the private Atelier in Toronto, they were using the lithograph in their advanced copy work, one step beyond copying from the cast.
Most of the examples of Academic art I have managed to collect date from the late 19th century and are representative of the classical methods of artistic training endemic to that time period. Technically they should be referred to as academies, drawings of nude models posed in a studio setting.
Caption: Standing Male Nude: Back View
Artist: Maximilian Spilhacezk (1876-1961)
Medium: Black & White Chalks On Paper
Dated: circa 1890-1900
The Maximilian Spilhacezk male nude drawing (circa 1890 - 1900) arrived in this morning's post and I am posting photographs of the drawing here for your enjoyment. The drawing is as spectacular as the illustration initially showed on the eBay Auction site. With the white highlights it is almost photographic in its detail. Spilhaczek has captured every detail of the models musculature and that contraposito pose. If you examine the drawing closely you can clearly see the technique of fine lines of varying widths to impose depth on a one dimensional surface. Sparing use of whites on the highest points of the figure's musculature adds greater depth to the composition. Truly a fine example of 19th and early 20th Century Drawing technique. It helps to have a model with such a fine physique like this also. It's all about observation and technical execution. If you are wondering how those fine lines are created the technique is all in the preparation of the graphite portion of the pencil. The wood is shaved off several inches from the tip of the pencil exposing the lead core. The artist can then maintain a very sharp drawing instrument by honing the lead to a fine point. The artist is able to maintain detailed control of the tip once on the paper. I observed the preparation of the drawing pencils while taking a painting course at a Private Atelier in Toronto once. Very fine detail can be obtained from such a drawing instrument.