Eye Candy for Today: Raphael figure studies

Raphael figure studies

Raphael figure studies

Nude Studies, Raphael, red chalk and metalpoint, roughy 16 x 11 in. (40 x 28 cm); link is to zoomable images on Google Art Project, downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons. original is in the Albertina, Vienna.

Raphael is considered to be one of the greatest draftsmen in history, and this relatively well known drawing of figure studies certainly a case in point.

Note the variation in value of the hatching and the beautifully defined musculature of the back, all with sure handed and seemingly casual lines.


Eye Candy for Today: Frits Thaulow Winter Landscape

Winter Landscape, Frits Thaulow, pastel and watercolor on canvas
Winter Landscape, Frits Thaulow, pastel and watercolor on canvas

Winter Landscape, Frits Thaulow, pastel and watercolor on canvas, roughly 22×36″ (55×92 cm). Link is to past auction on Christie’s (large image here), I would assume present location is a private collection.

No one painted the surface character of small streams, winter or otherwise, like 19th century Norwegian Painter Frits Thaulow.


John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal at the Morgan Library

John Singer Sargent charcoal portrait drawings

John Singer Sargent charcoal portrait drawings

John Singer Sargent is known for his bravura society portraits in oil, as well as his masterful watercolors. The latter were painted largely for his own pleasure as he traveled. The former, which were his stock in trade, came to weary him late in his career, and at one point he simply stopped doing formal portraits in oil.

He continued creating portraits, however, but in the form of charcoal drawings. These are wonderfully economical, deceptively simple but insightful and evocative of personality. They are also beautiful examples of the power of charcoal and of chiaroscuro.

The Morgan Library and Museum in New York, which has a history of presenting wonderful shows of drawings, has mounted a show of Sargent’s charcoal portraits drawings in cooperation with the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal, will be on display at the Morgan Library until January 12, 2020. The exhibition will then move to the National Portrait Gallery, where it will be on display from February 28 to May 31, 2020.

The Morgan Library has a small set of preview images, which I’ve used for my examples, above, and I’ve linked to another source on Wikimedia Commons, though the quality of the reproductions there varies.

There is a catalogue accompanying the exhibition. For those on a budget, there is an unrelated Dover paperback of Sargent Portrait Drawings.

See also my previous post on John Singer Sargent’s portrait drawings.


Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer

Lucien Levy-Dhurmer, symbolist Artnouveau pastelstyles
Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer was a French pastellist, painter, ceramicist and designer whose influences and stylistic explorations included Art Nouveau, Impressionism, Symbolism, Islamic art, the Pre-Raphaelites and painting of the Italian Renaissance.

In his pastels, Lévy-Dhurmer takes advantage of the soft edges and atmospheric diffusion of color that medium enables to give his images an etherial quality and an air of mystery.


Eye Candy for Today: Peter Lely trois crayon portrait

Peter Lely trois crayon portrait
Portrait of a Lady, Peter Lely

Black, red, and white chalk, on gray laid paper; roughly 9 1/2 x 8 inches (24 x 19 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum, NY.

Peter Lely, known for his sumptuous and sometimes erotic portraits of royals, nobles and courtiers in the 17th century court of Charles 1, here gives us a sensitively realized portrait drawing in the “trois crayon” method.

This is a method of drawing with three chalks — black, red (sanguine) and white — on toned paper, often cream or buff, but in this case, gray. It’s an approach particularly suited to figure and portrait drawing.

Though it’s difficult to tell if the drawing has faded to any degree since it was done, Lely’s use of white and red chalks are judicious. His application of white is just a hint of tone, subtly raising the value of areas of the face and neck and a few curls of hair.

You can tell he started the drawing of the face with the red chalk, which remains the only outline of the forehead, lower face and nose, though the eyes and brows have been reinforced with black.

I haven’t been through the hundreds of portraits attributed to Lely and his very active workshop in enough detail to know if this was a preliminary for a finished painting, but Lely evidently thought enough of the drawing that he signed it.


Felepe Santamans

Felepe Santamans, pastel still life and figures
Felepe Santamans is a contemporary Spanish artist from Valencia who trained at the Academy Barrera of Valencia, and continued in The School of Fine Arts at the Fuster Academy. He also studied under Jose Espert, who he counts as a major influence.

Santamans’ original training was in oil painting, but he moved into pastel, attracted by the brilliance of color afforded by the medium.

His subjects are primarily figures and still life; in both he achieves a vibrance and presence that also take advantage of the textural effects for which pastel is ideal.

I can’t find a dedicated sited for Santamans, but there are other sites that show a selection of his work.

[Via Jeffery Hayes]