The Morgan in New York has an exceptional collection of drawings ranging from preparatory studies to finished works of art with nearly twelve thousand drawings from the fourteenth through to the twenty-first centuries. The primary focus of the Morgan Library & Museum’s collection is European drawings executed before 1825, but the Morgan also has the largest collection of Rembrandt etchings in the United States.
I have been lucky and immensely fortunate to draw at the Louvre Museum in Paris for a few years now. In doing so I have learnt some practical techniques and some aspects on how to use my time there productively. Read more
Jean-François Millet (1814 to1875) was born in Normandy and was one of the Barbizon school painters. Today, in Barbizon, you can visit his original studio just outside Paris that is crammed with his drawings, some paintings and many personal artefacts. Read more
An unprecedented cultural exchange between the National Portrait Gallery in London and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow — marking the 160 anniversary of the foundation of both galleries — Russia and the Arts is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see masterpieces that rarely leave Russia. Presenting celebrated portraits of key figures from a golden age of the arts in the country, it is one of the most important Russian exhibition ever to take place at a British museum. Read more
In 1720, the original workshop of La Maison du Pastel started producing its amazing pastels. By the first world war, there were more than 1000 colours for artists to choose from. By 1937, a dizzying 1650 colours were on offer, and when they were presented at the Exposition Internationale de Paris, they won the Gold Medal for excellence.
Suzanne Valadon (1865 – 1938) was a French painter and artists’ model. In 1894, Valadon was the first woman painter admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, although she never actually attended the academy or had any formal training at all. Illegitimate, and brought up in poverty, she lived in Montmartre and started modelling at the age of 15 for artists such as Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. However, Valadon spent nearly 40 years as an artist in her own right.
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863) was a French artist who is regarded as the leader of the French Romantic school. For 40 years Eugène Delacroix was one of the most prominent but controversial painters in France. His works were often criticised and scandalising, never the less, he received many official honors and commissions during his lifetime. Complex, contradictory, a rebel, and an outsider, he had a profound and lasting influence on his contemporaries and future generations.
There were a small number of eighteenth century women artists that became prominent for their talent and teaching, the stylistic innovations they created, and their influence on other artists. Nowhere can this be better seen than in the life and works of the French painter Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. Read more
Italian Renaissance artists became anatomists by necessity. They were attempting to refine a more lifelike human figure, even though opportunities to help their knowledge by direct anatomical dissection were restricted. In Vasari’s Lives of the Artists, he states that the sculptor, painter, and printmaker Antonio Pollaiuolo (1431–1498) was the “first master to skin many human bodies in order to investigate the muscles and understand the nude in a more modern way.” We can see his knowledge displayed beautifully in Pollaiuolo’s engraving Battle of Naked Men. The nude warriors are in extreme action showing their nearly flayed musculature. Read more
Last month I went to two drawing exhibitions in Paris, both in one day. What a delight. Firstly a trip to Drawing Now held in the newly restored Carreau du Temple in the Haut Marais, then in the afternoon to Salon du Dessin not far away at the old stock exchange, the Palais de la Bourse. A Temple and a Palace, both full of drawings, but there was a major difference between the two.