Proportions

Undoubtedly we should not hesitate to falsify a detail in the interest of general balance. But one is at once tempted to ask the question whether the composition that necessitates a serious derogation from natural conditions may not be inferior in quality to one that attains to balance equally well while observing them.1 On the other hand, the field of artistic expression is wide, and it cannot be denied that the distortions of a Matisse or a Van Gogh make statements different from those of the...

Copying

Study of great and accepted masters that will prevent you from saying it for you will learn from them the basic essentials of art, and not the tricks for hiding ignorance that are so often the only furniture of contemporary and ephemeral lesser lights. Both C zanne and Van Gogh were fervent admirers of established painting during his short painting career Van Gogh found time to make several copies or rather transpositions of Jean-Fran ois Millet so one need have no fear of lacking in modernity...

Matisse

Itself was generally forgotten as the discourse proceeded. And why should it not have been The lecture was not about what the drawing contained, but about the facts that the student had not observed. When once the drawing had suggested to Carri re what it was needful to say, its part was played, it disappeared from the scene. Never have I seen Carri re c correct5 a student's drawing in the approved fashion, making an arm a little longer, redrawing that side line of the trunk a little nearer to...

Chinese Concision

Why or at least is one of the reasons why I have upheld the nude as being the best school for landscape-drawing for we have just seen that many of the important weaknesses of the Italian drawing are of a kind that figure-drawing will help us to avoid. It may be objected' that probably the Italian in question had been through a course of figure-drawing almost certainly, at that epoch, he had. Alas attending a life-school is not enough to make an artist innate disposition, and great comprehension...

Multiplicity Of Motive

Because they form the foreground of the study. It must not be concluded that I lay down as an unbreakable law that foreground objects must be more minutely executed than those of the rest of the picture. Very far from it. Only, in this particular case, the mass importance of the feet attracts special attention to them the eye must not be disappointed by finding emptiness of execution. Once the feet and legs were established, mass was thrust behind mass, as they respectively receded, my pencil...

Light And Shade

The blanched rose of early almond-blossom strikes clear against an azure depth of heaven. Once again, dangerous is the absolute dictum when we speak of art. In Relation in Art I have defined the meaning of the word c Values ' as follows The study of the relations of the various quantities of light, with which the artist deals, is called the study of values. We see objects by means of light, either emitted by them or reflected from them. Curiously enough light and shade, as we usually understand...

Anatomy And Form

ON p. 150 I said that th pelvis, from our point of view, was the key to the situation, for it is a rigid bony arrangement which gives us seven bony points always fixed relatively to one another. Nevertheless it is usual to begin a drawing of a standing figure at the head. There is little doubt that this way of work is induced by the natural tendency of the artist's hand to descend, both as a result of the immediate action of gravity upon it, and as a result of the constructional nature of the...

Info

On another, there is no bony connexion between the pelvis and the chest consequently Fig. 59 gives an exaggerated caricature of what happens when, the pelvis fixed, we lean the upper part of the body over on it forwards or sideways (backward leaning can only be done to a very limited degree, on another, there is no bony connexion between the pelvis and the chest consequently Fig. 59 gives an exaggerated caricature of what happens when, the pelvis fixed, we lean the upper part of the body over...

Convexities

Of the figure we are drawing, but we must also have an image before us of a kind of imaginary series of underlying surfaces on which are placed the convexities with which we are actually dealing. And these underlying surfaces must belong, each one, to a general rhythm of their own so that if we made a horizontal section through the middle of the Leonardo drawing we should find something like Fig. 73 in which the black lines represent the section of the real existing surface and the dotted lines...

Greece And Florence

Paive as was the line, it was already emotional. Unlike that of the Greek vase, which we may take to be at its apogee in the fifth century before Christ, we can fix on no definite style of technique as being early Tuscan- A continual change takes place from primitive Giotto or Cimabue to complex Leonardo or Michael-Angelo. What wordy warfare might rage around the question whether 'Michael-Angelo is or is not the ultimate perfection of the ideal which Cimabue created (And did he create it Such...

Naturalism At Altamira

Did not surpass the stage of expression by means of crude decorative shapes. At best, of their work we have but a few deformed and inadequate attempts at reproduction of the human body, a few vague clay or soft stone statuettes,1 if we may dignify them by such name. The neolithic peoples passed on into the ages of bronze and iron before their art became valuable, worthy of consideration. Yet they polished stone, they baked pottery, badly it is true, and would seem to have been in many ways...

Law Of Participation

Imply a form of mentality which is ' prelogical5 and mystic, and which is directed quite otherwise than is ours. (2) Collective representations and the co-ordinations or connexions of these representations which constitute this mentality are governed by the law of participation, and so being, are indifferent to the logical law of contradiction. As a result of this government by the law of participation, instead of by that of contradiction, the primitive mentality finds no difficulty whatever in...

Structural Ensemble

If we seem to branch off from the main line of development, it is only for the moment for my thesis is the real identity between the higher forms of draughtsmanship and the architectural sense. I have several times put forward what may seem to many to be naught but an amusing paradox, to be a passing opinion, of the possible verity of which I should find it difficult to give a demonstration. I have said that not only is nude-drawing the best school for all kinds of...

General And Particular

Traced line which I cultivate myself. In it the noting of the constructional fact is clearly evident . . . unless some unkind and hostile critic contradict me flatly and say that the said modulations are mere accidental phenomena. But even then an examination of a few hundred of my drawings would show an improbable recurrence of the same accident. In drawing from the model we maintain a continuous balance between first, previously acquired type knowledge secondly, newly acquired knowledge,...

Conscious Eastern Aesthetics

To portray the personality of the man. We are still told to portray. And portraiture, likeness to the model, continually occurs as the principal motive force in the arts which spring from the mentality which is produced by logical culture. Why do we object to the idea of the possibility of our occupying at one and the same time two different positions in space Because such an idea is contrary to all the laws which a long examination of the ways of the physical universe has enabled us to...

Natural Form A Compromise

The nearly subcutaneous humerus is discreetly marked by the faint darkening in the middle of the shadow up from the elbow along the first third of the upper-arm towards the shoulder and the three darks in the middle of the shadow at the elbow itself establish without possible doubt the shape and position of the lower end of the humerus (see Fig. 75). Its upper end is of course in this position confounded with the acromion process. They are the cause of the oval light-patch on...

Xl

Diagrams showing relation between a squared-out ground-plan and the corresponding 4 squares' in a pictorial perspective view. necessary to add that this reserve applies to all critical aesthetic writing However absolutely one may seem to state a proposition in the interest of clear demonstration, one always withholds in the background the understanding that it may be partly invalidated by future aesthetic invention.

Greece And Japan

And anew disclosing the main rhythm of the body to the observer of the anterior neck modelling. This surface, or rather the volume which it limits, seems to spring forward from between the embracing branches of the sterno-cleido-mastoid which seems (Figs. 55 and 56) to tie down the posterior mass of the skull to the front of the body. I have already said that the skull should be looked on as a sphere balanced on the top of the neck, and that the face should be conceived as a triangular (or...

Insertion Of Limbs Into Trunk

Fig. 49 shows these facts very clearly. The squashing is evident in the dark area on the right of the drawing, the stretching on the opposite side. The relative arrangement of the front pelvic points (Fig. 59) is well marked in this study, which makes an unusually precise statement of the relative directions of the pelvic and thoracic masses. The thorax is nearly vertical, while the whole pelvis is tipped at an angle of about 450. This drawing is a remarkable example of constructional...

Future Reasoning And Antithesis

At contact, by an unusual route, with the underlying metaphysical difficulty. We, at the present day, seem to be tending towards a diminution of the, value of the personal observation by freeing physical science from the subjective element the ' primitives ' diminished the personal value by their tendencies towards ' participation Certainly the two methods of approach are very different, yet it is not inconceivable that they may lead to a slight similarity of result, all proportions kept of...

The Trochanter

Knee is flexed a little horizontal movement is possible between the head of the tibia and the condyles of the femur. The pelvis in woman being larger than in man, the femurs slope together more in the female than in the man. In carrying out sculpture, the head of the trochanter being nearly subcutaneous affords us an admirable point for determining a leg measurement for if measuring is to be avoided in studying, it is often advisable, and sometimes even quite necessary, to use it in executing...

Logic And Rhythm

Should we so anxiously demand resemblance to natural shapes The affair is one of ingrained habit. The more an artist is capable, the more he will attach greater importance to rhythm, of one kind or another, and less importance to ' photographic ' likeness. He will be content with a few amazing brush-marks by Ying Yu-chien. An Assyrian bas-relief (Fig. 41) is the account of the victory of a king. The artist did not wish to give us (it never occurred to him that it might be necessary to give us)...

The Ephemeral And The Durable

Everything in the drawing conspires to that end, the very dragging of the water-colour washes adds a feeling of complexity due to the ragged edges. Hardly any line is clean and sharp, it is broken in its course by saw-like jagging, by the interrupted rendering of dots. Nature, to Turner, was an immense congeries of parts he was far from imposing on her any reduction of her opulence to a scheme that should impoverish her wealth. Painting without scheme is impossible. Some scheme Turner had...

Hatching And Shape

Account, were not properly co-ordinated in the artist's mind he only, now and then, and in a half-hearted kind of way, bothered about recessional composition. Look, on the other hand, at the magnificent display of third-dimensional composition in the foliage of the trees in the Claude. Compare it with the total absence of recessional foliage-composition in the Italian drawing it is only by a difference of handling that we are able to distinguish between the foliage of the nearer and the farther...

Trunk And Pelvis

Although these points correspond to excrescences on the skeleton they show themselves as depressions on the surface of the body, for from them start, in all directions, swelling muscular masses. Fig. 59. Diagram of pelvic construction (female), front view, and connexion with thorax. Fig. 59. Diagram of pelvic construction (female), front view, and connexion with thorax. From the triangle 1, 2, 3 of the sacrum springs the almost immediately flexible spinal column, which...

Participation In Portraits

Is not by any means certain that another mentality when it admires a work of art admires it for its most important qualities. In Relation in Art I report an admiration of the Elgin Marbles for the excellence of their light and shade Which light and shade is only, so to speak, a by-product of their fundamental excellences. What should put us on our guard is that we are inclined to smile at certain ' primitive ' renderings of the human shape while we admire other ' primitive ' balancings of...

Primitive Art Today

Away to the earliest being of our race. What we realize with so much difficulty is that c primitive ' art is a very real thing that it is not only palaeolithic, but that it is the artistic manifestation of many millions of human beings alive at the present moment. The Paris Salons, the London picture shows are by no manner of means representative of the total human desire for beauty, for aesthetic expression. By what right does the aesthetician ignore a branch of his subject which has persisted...

Main Transitions Of Plane

When you have been over the whole body in this way, with an artistic anatomy beside you, you will find yourself possessed already of a very considerable quantity of aesthetic knowledge of the constructional facts of the human frame. What you must avoid is to say Ah That is a clever way of indicating the toes, I will go and do likewise. There is no ' way ' of doing these things. The ' way ' is invented at the moment of drawing as a representation of the observed organization of the masses . . ....

Conclusion

WHAT have I written Considerably more than a hundred thousand words concerning the art of drawing I have tried to explain in words ideas which are an integral part of the forms which represent them. Each art exists because the ideas special to it cannot be transmitted otherwise than by its medium. To talk about drawing is to doom oneself from the outset to partial failure. The plastic arts have a logic, a rationality of their own, which cannot be transmuted into the terms of verbal...

Sculpture And Anatomy

Of the fine ends of the moustache, on the shadow side, seems to stand out in space, a minuscle composition of decorative shapes. And note the sustained movement of form that comes down the right jaw-bone to swing round into the beard, and finally turns vertically upward again to the middle of the mouth. Without imitating the obviousness of all these unifications of form, it is quite necessary to bear them in mind Carri re employed them as it pleased him to employ them, another artist might make...

Antithesis And Allegory

To the antithetic position which ultimately becomes our logic of antithesis. That this antithetic position dates almost, if not quite, in its rudimentary forms from the beginning is evident when we consider that even animals realize that the presence of two objects eliminates the possibility of their being only one. This really constitutes a very elementary form, if not of antithetical reasoning, at least of antithetical perception. It is the first step in the series which will ultimately lead...

Perspective Of Fingers

Series of hinged rods with several joints. This fundamental condition of their design should always be kept in view while drawing them. If the palm of the hand is flattened out, the first row of knuckles and the subsequent finger-joints make up a set of simple hinges in rods that may be considered as being square in section. Consequently the axes of all these hinges will be subject to the ordinary laws of linear perspective, as will be readily understood from the diagram (Fig. 106). To this...

Mass Equilibrium

TO over-insist on the importance of plastic equilibrium, which is another term for composition in the widest sense, and to over-insist on the importance of conceiving this equilibrium to be above all one of mass to mass would be difficult. Arabesque ornament takes, as a rule, the direction of purely flat decoration of a surface by means of balancings of differently curved lines and variously shaped areas. The Greek key gives us an example of an equilibrium established by means of straight...

Discontinuity Of Perspective

This break is generally carried out with the aid of mist intervening between us and the lower part of a mountain. Sometimes, as in the kakemono by Shubun (fifteenth-century Japan) the high narrow shape allows of what one might term a side scene, or wing introduction, of each separate recessional plane, from the side of the picture. A moment's examination will show the parallelism of the lines of sight in this subject. Were we to have such an approximation to a...

Art And Meaning

Most ancient, must be taken in before we can hope to enter into an understanding of the exquisite completeness and refinement of some of those monochrome masterpieces from which even colour is banished lest its superfluity be harmful to the perfect quintessentializing of the theme. Only a short time ago I was accused by an English painter staying here in Les Baux in the terms of the trite reproach made by artists to literary critics of painting I was told that I saw more In a drawing than the...

And Rembrandt

Aid of light and shade to them he added a normal lighting which produced in turn a magnificent chiaroscuro scheme. No doubt because Michael-Angelo conceived his pose complete in isolation people look upon his sculpture as greater than his painting. Yet I feel that his frescoes satisfy more fully than his marbles. Not because his brush enriched a splendid shape with wealth of tint, with mystery of shade and light, but because his invention is too unquiet to attain to the serene composure of-the...

Greece And Tangible Mass

The rather naive drawing of the back of Euphronios's backward-glancing man, a back half-obscured by the decorative lines of the mantle the plane of the buttocks is clearly felt then the upward-running profile of the back, instead of continuing from the far buttock profile as a latter-day student (and probably, certainly, more capable draughtsmen still than he) would carry it on, starts from the base of the sacral triangle, thereby very adroitly, if not very accurately, suggesting the insertion...

Values

WHEN writing on drawing it is difficult to decide which of the several subjects, into which the plastic arts are arbitrarily split, can with safety be left out. Colour, it may be, we can omit yet certain enthusiasts not perhaps wholly bereft of reason have gone so far as to speak of the colour-suggestiveness of monochrome, and I am even inclined to think that in many cases one would be tempted in drawing from Nature to use at times a different quality of line (not to speak of value in...

The Aim Of

But the view-point there is entirely different. In England good workmanship is sought and praised for itself, praised for certain tidy and satisfactory qualities It possesses, and there the matter ends. In China things are quite otherwise, workmanship is looked on only as a means of shadowing forth the abstract, the intangible as such a means It is excellent when well done, but excellent as a means only, not as an end. The Chinese position is homogeneous and...

Shadows

Ing to a vanishing point in a perspective scheme. I include a diagrammatic sketch (Fig. 45) taken from one of my own pictures which was painted from Nature. The sun is almost directly behind the spectator, so the shadows recede almost directly from him. Notice how the cast shadow of the tree branch becomes very much smaller where it falls on the stone Fig. 45. Shadow perspective. From study from Nature showing reduced apparent size of branch shadows on ground and distant stonework. Fig. 45....

Preparation Of

Be so termed did the thickness of the board not intervene betwixt it and the table, on which the book lies, and from which the height of the eye is measured the line underlying yz, and on the surface of the table, is the ground line. Suppose that we now want to put into perspective a flat object, rectangular or not, lying at an undetermined angle with the picture plane. Let us begin by making a ground-plan of our future picture. Here I may parenthetically remark that it is never waste of time...

IMeretricious Finish

Also, I believe he had but little to do with the school, and only returned there in order to present himself at the final examination. But I cannot vouch for what I only heard casually many years ago. I trust I may be forgiven for insisting so often and so long on this point, to me so important, that of eliminating the c finished ' drawing from the work of students as yet incapable of any but meretricious finish. . . Should the first lesson in value observation be given...

Primitive Art And Consecration

Seeing in primitive arts an embryonic use of the antithetic element which, later, we see carried to a much higher and voulu degree in the painting of the last half-century, an epoch which has seen the conscious introduction of semi-scientific reasoning concerning complementary colours and the like carried to an extreme degree. This same tendency to theorize upon technique has inevitably brought with it a negligence of the signification of the picture, an allegorical representation of spring has...

Execution And Instruction

All the rest of the matter included in these pages is the result of prolonged studying of masterpieces, of laborious coordination, of reflection before the living model, of anatomical study, of varied technical experiment with a view to finding out the result of eliminating or of exaggerating such and such an element. I have no hesitation in saying that the greater part of so-called art instruction is worse than useless it engages the student in an evil way. The trouble is that it is not even...

Quantity Of Primitive

A modern physicist at some particular point in his reflections. This is all I mean. But the possible weakening of the value of the antithetic element in future reasoning must not be too hastily assumed to be identical with the neglect of it in c pre-logical ' thought. At the close of this volume I am particularly anxious to draw attention to this but little realized aspect of primitive art the minor interest displayed in likeness to the object depicted and the major, or rather unique,...

The Joints

Experiment you will bear away a visual memory of shape in which neither ' 90 ' nor ' nearly 5 figures you will bear away the kind of idea, one of shape, with which an artist's mind must be furnished. Stand with your feet together, and, without moving them, turn your body to the right or to the left, carefully noting the limit of possible movement. Repeat the experiment with every imaginable movement of every part of the body. Evidently the degree of movement varies with the individual, hence...

Table Of Contents

Figure-drawing best method of study. Ruskin. Equilibrium. Choice. Integrality. Finish. Knowledge and intuition. Pseudo-science. Cezanne. Influence of Far East. The Tao. Si Ho's Six Laws. Want of figure-work among Celts and Germans. Greek art. II. RELATIONS BETWEEN COMPOSITION AND DRAWING 23 Composition a bad term. Art a symbolism. Drawing and composition. Painting and sculpture. Mi Fu. Knowledge to be concealed. Reason for plastic arts. Imitation of Nature. Van...

The Codified East

Stratified, their stratification must at least be hinted at by the form we trace. If they are volcanic the shapes they assume are governed by certain laws of erosion rather exaggerate than suppress these facts. Art in the Farther East is terribly codified as I have said before, we must beware of taking from a system qualities which are only admirable because they are a part of a complete system such a page of methods of treating trees as that reproduced in Fig. 121 can be but of little use to...

Plastic Expression Of Abstract Ideas

They are limited by the planes c, d, e, f, g, whose arrangement is evident from the diagram. One might even liken them to so many buttresses consolidating the central mobility, which is also counteracted by the horizontal line hi, almost exactly continued by the top edge of d. This line hi and others, shorter in the rocks as at e, furnish the decorative straight element which cuts the curved system mn. The rock treatment is (see p. 106, The Way to Sketch) curiously analogous to the modern...

ODrapery Curves

Placing according to the rhythm you have chosen and conceived, your picture will be artistically valueless and unconvincing. Examine this drapery study by Michael-Angelo (Fig. 113). The folds fall behind straight from the shoulders. That part is simple. A secondary system of folds falls from the forearm and in part joins up with the back folds. Were the tissue perfectly supple we should have unbroken, nearly pure catenary, curves as a result. (A catenary curve is the curve traced by a flexible...

OTors Al Architecture

Scoop out the whole of the belly deliberately, then to estimate the size of a clay ball required to replace the intestine volume, and to place such a ball, for the moment hardly modifying its shape, into the scooped out cavity- Smaller pellets of clay can then be introduced into the free spaces. In that way a sense of the spherical mass lying in the pelvic cavity is readily obtained. The form of this spherical mass is easily felt in the right-hand drawing in Fig. 91 it lies clasped within the...

The Main Masses Of The Human Body

BEFORE dealing with the different parts of the body it will be as well to consider it as a whole. In reality it is a mobile motor, sometimes the motor force is applied in the direction of locomotion, sometimes it serves to do other forms of work. In the latter case the major part of the machine is often more or less braced into a rigid support, from which the force may be adequately applied to the extraneous work. No machine that we know comes anywhere near the animal body in efficiency no...

Axes Of Volumes

Rendered impossible the observation of the relative placing of intersections studied on a flat view of the model. When our minds are fixed on an organization of volumes, the contours of which only appeal to us as an afterthought, we shall inevitably represent the volume character of these volumes even though they be seen in rapid perspective. Also, even though we wilfully diminish or augment a volume as Michael-Angelo did we shall only modify the volume of the volume, we shall not in the...

Popular European Taste

The act and thought, practically inseparable, of the plastic artist are his work. This is, of course, the explanation of the legendary want of practicality in the ordinary affairs of life displayed so often by artists. An artist's powers are concentrated on the production of his painting, that production is what interests him. Once the canvas completed he has attained his goal, the matter loses interest for him. Selling the canvas is the affair of the man who makes money-getting his aim. Now...

Termination Of Lines

Men always pay great attention to the direction that the very last fragment of such a contour takes the line, it is true, leaves off, but the thought of the artist continued to follow the form round into the mass, as did his hand movement at and after the moment when the pencil left the paper so the mind of the subsequent spectator of the drawing is engaged to follow the same impulse and to feel the real convexity of the muscular or other mass that is thus thrown into relief by the very fact of...

Reentering Forms

That seeks refuge in the confusing effect of multiplicity in order to hide its inadequacy. We at once get the impression of a number of small and similar buttresses all turned out to order, each with its quintuple striation about half-way up, each crowned with its regulation rooflet. There is no climbing up of general effect in Salisbury. The almost universal defect of English cathedrals, that of a weak junction between a centrally placed tower and the roofs converging from it, is most evident...

With Oriental Poetry

Is the absolutely literal transcription of the whole of a poem in Chinese, Book IIL 16. of the first part of the Cheu King. The uninitiated European remains amazed, and perhaps a little sceptical when told that this Is read to mean The North Wind blows coldly. Rain and Snow fall abundantly, Let the Kind One who loves Me Take my Hand within his that we may Walk together Already He should have come in haste. The reader will be still more surprised when told that the Chinese literary authorities...

Construction Of The Human Frame

THE main objection, it will be remembered, that I have to make to the diverse and excellent artistic anatomies which already exist is that theydo not permit the student to judge readily the relative importance of the undoubtedly Hjpcact facts to be found in them, I might in the present case obviate this difficulty by classing the different facts and exhibiting them in type of different sizes, or by some analogous editorial artifice. But is it worth my while to re-edit during some hundreds of...

IiLimitations Of

The ground line yz (Fig. 30) of the picture must now be divided into as many equal parts as is the ground line yz (Fig. 31) of the plan. Each of the new points (Fig. 30) is now joined to the point of sight s. The resulting lines will be the perspective views of the lines ab, cd, & c., of Fig. 3 1. They are analogous in all respects to the lines representing the sides of the book in Figs. 26 and 27. Let us now consider the diagonals of the squares traced on the ground-plan, Fig. 31. I have...

Japanese Generalization

The cylindricity of the neck and the mass of hair over the ear is just the right degree nearer to us than is the face profile. The eyelid volume is perfectly well indicated and takes its place on the general spherical shape of the head. This is one of the qualities rare to find in drawing. The special attention which Rodin has paid to the contour in the stomach region should be noticed. The base of the ribs, the prominence of the iliac crest, the transition from the pelvic to the thigh volume...

Leighton And Classicism

Artists from becoming sculptors of value. That is why such works as the bronzes of Leighton, quite admirably modelled in their way, remain negligible as sculpture. For the same reason all his 4 classicism ' is pseudo-classicism he is just about as far from the classic spirit of plastic art as he well can be. His pictures are British illustrations of what a British mind conceives the outside of classic life and mythology possibly to have been. The classic turn of mind that conceived things...

Modelling Of Mouth

Illusion throughout the detail which gives life and truth to the result. In a hurried sketch very few of these elements can be introduced, but those which are introduced must be subject to the exigencies of their solid state they must not contradict it. If, for example, in rapid painting, only the high light on the lid over the iris can be dealt with, whether the artist is acquainted with all the facts of ocular construction or not whether or not he mentally and rapidly subordinates these facts...

Coloured Contours

And an example of what is by no means an easy method to manage it is a drawing in colour, by which I do not mean a coloured drawing, but a drawing in which lines of different colours are employed. I have made a considerable number of experiments myself in coloured contouring of mass with results that I find very difficult to reduce to any even approximately simple formula. In any case their discussion would rather belong to a treatise on the use of colour than to the present volume. In this...

Defect Of English Cathedrals

It Is not because the architect has traced a ground-plan which is, I have little doubt, satisfactorily symmetrical, that he has achieved a homogeneous work. Given even, at Salisbury, that his ground-plan was good he has not known how to build upon it. No doubt the ground-plan of a building would be the most essential part of construction, were we justified in separating an aesthetic inspiration into component parts, which we are not. An architect is usually obliged to consider his...

Volumes Essential

Tion of more precise kind, is the spatial rhythm established among these masses, the exact arrangement of the angles that their approximate axes make one with another. In the accompanying diagram and elsewhere, I am obliged to 4 geometricize 5 in order to make my meaning clear, but an executing draughtsman should hold such facts in his mind for the passing instant, and at once clothe them anew with the supple vesture of living flesh. That, and that only, should his pencil portray on the paper.1...

Comparison Of Western

To the phrase, to the extent of not even being quite sure if Shakespeare means us to see In undistinguished 5 a thing with ill-defined boundaries, or one lacking in distinguished qualities And did he know, himself A third meaning would be that we are unable to make out the extent of it. The French language, constructed by the French people for their own use and to please their own tastes, does not admit of this confusion of Idea and casual suggestiveness. Although we may say In French, with the...

Exact Transcription Impossible

By means of a perfectly factitious value scheme, as, for example, in the Leonardo study of a back (Fig. 72) where a studied equality of shading does not prevent glyptic information from being passed on to us. All early fresco painting may afford another example of often correct or rather complete plastic statement combined with, or rendered by, a conventional value system. Except under very particular conditions exact transcription of natural values to the canvas is impossible. Black in shadow...

Value Studies On White Ground

A few pages back I condemned the practice of asking students to make a fully shaded drawing on a white ground. The most important part of training Is to teach a grasp of ensemble of the relation of every part of Nature to all her other parts. One of the best ways to do this Is continually to call attention to relations between the figure and the background. To ask the student to execute the value relations over the figure without studying the contiguous relations on the background, of which the...

The Measure Of Greece

Essence, from which the universe unfolds This still remains the mightiest theme of art, towards its telling tend the rhythms of the Eastern line, avid of abstraction, spurning the particular. Yet it is to this particular that Europe clings. The most general of Western arts, the Greek, was yet wrought from the measure of man. c L'Hell ne . . . con ut toute chose sa mesure et donna ses temples des proportions parfaites tout y tait gr ce, harmonie, mesure et sagesse.' 1 For when he raised his eyes...

Aesthetic And Mechanical Balance

Thigh volumes are respectively parallel to and perpendicular to the plane of the picture. The torso is twisted respectively to them in a way that the reproduction saves the need of describing. To this back-thrown twist comes the counteraction of the head turned in the opposite direction, to a limiting degree. These strained oppositions of Michael-Angelo are repeated to a less extent in Greek Art, and consequently throughout European composition Michael-Angelo has pressed forward to the positive...

Mural Decoration

Of uncertain ill-defined form, another to combine aesthetically positive and existing shapes to produce architecture or sculpture. Even an architect who does not paint is brought up among the modern type of simulacrum though he may not be adept in producing it, he cannot be otherwise than adept in construing the results of modern painting and photography. The pure unhesitating foundation of formal appreciation from which the Greek started is to us to-day unrealizable. The Euphronios drawing...

Dominance Of Head

We either make full or half-length portraits of people, or we content ourselves with the single representation of the head. No one ever makes a portrait of the sitter's legs though we add them occasionally as further information concerning the rest of the body attached to the head. In many primitive arts this overpowering of the rest by the head may be noticed Margari-tone of Arezzo may be instanced as an Italian example. Why should it not be so The...

Planes

Typical of the construction of the human frame. The arrows indicate the directions, the rhythmical inclinations of which, one against another, I always make a point of noting. Mentally, on this crude and universally applicable foundation, I graft the modifications of the particular case now the scheme is thinned down, at another moment it is rendered more lithe in a nervous male model the simple surfaces may be broken up by multiplicity of muscular form, in the female the planes are...

Completed Primitive Arts

Anatomist may be found who will restrain his ire before the c Harpy Tomb It is on such elements of our own personalities that we call, when we wish to appreciate the value of ' primitive * art, outcome of ' prelogical' mentality. If, when studying primitive' mentality, we are not certainly in presence of the childhood of our own thought, it is all the same quite probable that our ancestors, at some period of their history, were in a very similar mental state indeed the inveterate survival of...

Artistic Thought And

The confusion which so often occurs in their minds in the case of dreams foretelling the future which is, in a way, already assumed to have happened, is one of the several examples of this vagueness concerning the conception of time sequence. On pp. 122 and 123 of Relation in Art I have mentioned a possible future European position not totally alienated in some ways from this non-causal and nontemporal mind condition of the ' primitives It seems to me to be one, ceteris paribus,...

Decorative Values

Necessary to hold the page at arm's length at least, so that the visual angle subtended by the width of the figure is not too great, and so that, consequently, the eye takes in the whole of the drawing at once, deals with the whole of the relations, without concentrating its attention on one particular part. For in spite of its sculptural quality this drawing is a painter's, it might be termed a painter's vision of sculptural form hence, unlike the Leonardo drawing, every part of this drawing...

Leonardo And Chiaroscuro

Under its true aspect such a drawing as that drawn by Euphronios and reproduced on p. 89, without at least sketching in the mind-cast which dictated its making, and the differences which exist between such a mind-cast and that of England. But perhaps it will be better to leave these pages a little incomplete in this respect and to refer the reader, whom the subject may interest, to the fuller treatment of it in Relation in Art while I content myself here by asking him to meditate on these words...

Claude Drawing

Do with the matter, such methods only deceive the critic who, as incapable as the ' artist and not feeling the need of ensemble himself, does not notice the absence of it in the painting. The corner-stone of the edifice of art-is total coordinate rhythmic relation of all parts. In the present drawing the distant mountains are almost as ' near 5 as much of the foreground. When we try to ' go back 5 into the picture, as into a Claude or into a Turner, surprising is the difficulty experienced. We...

Perspective And Primitive

The actual existence of sculpture eliminates the difficulty of point of view and of perspective, which we have now come to consider as an inherent necessity of artistic representation in the graphic arts. In the earlier forms of art in Egypt, in Assyria, in China, we have seen that perspective, as we practice it, is not observed. May this not be less on account of insufficient intelligence on the part of primitive artists, than on account of a lack of desire to reproduce a scene as it appears...

Mangwa Drawings

Be made, Hukusai's arm is quite analogous to my diagrammatic analysis in Fig. 51 of the resolution of the forearm into two parts, the first half down from the elbow full and fleshy, the second straight and thin where the radius and ulna are subcutaneous or only sheathed in tendons. Perhaps more use can accrue to the European student from the study of such whole-figure drawings as are reproduced also from the Mangwa in Fig. 108. The top middle figure is very instructive. The twisted volume of...

OThe Forearm

An aristocratic appanage when practised by the greater number, it becomes bourgeois, loses distinction, and, so, dominating- magnificence. At least this would seem to be true of such countries as those of Europe, where art is a thing more apart from life than it is, for example, in Japan. I had chosen some reproductions of child-form for inclusion in these pages but on second thoughts I will refer my readers to the works of those who have preceded me in writing on figure-drawing. Who does not...

Geometrical Perspective

Is only acceptable, even to us, within certain narrow limits of application. Though the choice of the distance from which the artist regards his subject, and consequently the distance between the point from which the picture should be looked at and the canvas (which two lengths are the same when reduced to the same scale), must be left to the artist as forming important parts of his personal aesthetic and compositional intentions, still we may say that in ordinary cases it is not possible...

Artificial Schemes Of Values

Engraver and to the photographic process-block maker a refined study of values spells extra time, trouble, and expense. The nearer the approach to diagrammatic representation, the cheaper will be the reproduction and the clearer the result in rapid printing. Hence the greater number of ' artists 5 aim at some artificial scheme of values which shall prove acceptable, usually by its tidiness of presentation, and the public eye in England, already too inclined to worship tidiness, is readily...

Intersections

The flexile nature of the abdomen is also very marked the superior profile drags away from the iliac spine, which has become in this pose a point of suspension instead of being one of support, as it is in the vertical or sitting position. Following this top profile towards the shoulder, we notice how the first dip is succeeded by a new point, or rather surface, of suspension. We have reached the ribs. But the lowest ribs are ' floating and the whole structure of the thorax is flexible,...

Law Of Contrast

Dead thing, and one may almost say that an indispensable quality of a sketch is a vivid presentation of life and momentary vivacity of movement or of effect. But from another and more abstract view-point this cross-hatching of plane and rounded serratus form in the Degas drawing calls for appreciation from me. It is a deliberate plastic setting forth of the eternal laws of action and of reaction, of Zoroastrian balance betwixt the wish of Ahouramazda and that of Angromamyous, that conflict...

DRAWING

Indeed such mastery of varied brush technique allied to, one with, inward intention, as the work of say Mou-hsi (about 1250) or Liang K'ai (first half of thirteenth century) displays, can only result from long meditation aided by an already secular tradition. Would it not be well to quote here, in these early pages, a few of the notes that the son of Kwo Hsi (probably died about 1080) made of the sayings and painting methods of his father. When Kwo Hsi intended to work, his first acts were to...

Arch In Perspective

Estimate the place of l, for example, in its square with quite sufficient accuracy by noting that on the plan (Fig. 31) l is half, or a third, or a quarter of the way across its square, and by placing it similarly in the corresponding perspective square in Fig. 30. The distance of l into the picture, and into its square, is estimated in the same way (though this time the chance of error will be theoretically a little greater, it still may be neglected for our purposes). A little reflection will...

Arm And Torso

At the wrist but at the elbow-joint Fig. 103 is discussed fully in any good artistic anatomy. I need not repeat the discussion here. The musculation of the forearm is exceedingly complex, complicated as it is by the spiral twist normal to the arrangement of the muscles in any other pose than that rather unusual one of complete supination with resulting parallelism of the radius and ulna. As many times as I have learnt the muscular anatomy of the forearm so many times I have forgotten it, and I...

Misunderstood Anatomy

Now in all this I am not encouraging idleness or reduced study I am really only pointing out the danger of mistaking one kind of knowledge for another. On the contrary, an excellent acquaintance with the surgical side of bony and muscular anatomy can be acquired at the cost of a few months' hard work. The way of art is longer and more arduous. I can imagine a student who has arrived at a rough knowledge of the shapes, positions, and insertions of all the muscles and a complete knowledge of...

Glyptic And Aglyptic Form

Of traversing this circumferential ordering with radially modelled forms. To engender rhythms in an indirect way, to weave them out of contradictory terms, may very well be said to be the appanage of sculptural rather than painting vision. And I feel almost inclined to lay down the seeming paradox that sculpture is less of an anatomical art than is painting for the main glyptic elements of form are more frequently opposed in direction to the anatomical elements than agreeable to them though, of...

Importance Of Model

What is of consequence to know is, first, that it is a powerful flexor of the thigh secondly that, stretching from the pelvis to the fibula head, it performs the important office with other muscles of solidly joining up the three bony elements of pelvis, thigh, and lower leg. This is a principal fact in the mechanics of the human frame, though even whether the biceps be attached to the head of the fibula or, like the semi-tendinosus, its neighbour, it be attached to the tibia head really does...

Ashanti Stools

Ashanti Plastic

The body only plays the part of support to the symbol of the face, hence of the individual. There is even no thickness to the head. Why should there be The possibility of the future child is quite sufficiently evoked without it.1 One might say that a headless torso study by Rodin is at the aesthetic antipodes from the Ashanti statuette, Rodin being interested above all in reproducing appearances of parts of Nature. This neglect of the imitative side of art renders it particularly difficult for...

Ku Kai Chih

Tion in completed work should exist but be hidden. Michael-Angelo, when he had made his first main drawing, found that the transition from the forearm to the hand by the wrist was too geometrical and violent, so he made a new auxiliary study of the supple rhythmic junction between these two parts of the body. The artists of the Far East have often been accused of ignoring perspective. There is here a misunderstanding, the word perspective is used with a lack of precision. In the adjoining group...

National Mentality

Profile to the supple agencement of Beauvais, where the masses are so cunningly distributed as to banish all sense of repetition from a thing w7hich is, nevertheless, in no way accidental nor unordered in plan. I am quite aware of the literature, concerning daring greatness of arch and immensity of doorway, which has been written about Peterborough. As a rule ideas well-fitted to expression in one Art are ill-fitted to expression in another. Artists seldom realize this. Rodin was continually...

Kakemono And Makimono

Upon, Chinese perspective proceeded from quite another standpoint. It did not pass through the scientific and hypothetical period, it is on the contrary a direct descendant of primitive bas-relief perspective in superposed registers, the method employed in Assyria and to a slightly less degree in Egypt. 'The Battle of Ashur-bani-pal against the Elamites' Nineveh Gallery, British Museum is an example of the primitive solution of the problem of representing several recessional planes on a flat...

Communication Of Plastic Ideas

An inadequate artist is one who has not penetrated to the underlying significance of things. All great art is firmly and simply based. He who has never perceived the foundations cannot describe them to us. When once he has perceived them he is already far on the road to great artistry himself. It is evident that perception and execution are not quite interchangeable terms, though I am inclined to think that they are much more closely allied than many unsuccessful executants would fain have us...

The Child And The Primitive

But this is only one side of the primitive question. There are others. In the civilized child we can, even at an early stage, only trace rudimentary remains of the primitive qualities of ' participation At times the child certainly participates ', if not with the universe in general at least with his companions. L on Frappi paints for us a momentary picture of the infant playground in La Maternelle c je restai . . . saisie par un spectacle de foule. Dix fois, des poursuivants...

Backbone Rotation

I do not mean to say that both form and effect may not be, should not be rendered by one and the same stroke of brush or pencil, I simply mean that the conception of the form must take precedence over the conception of the lighting, just, indeed, as form takes precedence over lighting in the natural scheme. Shape remains, or does so within the limits we are considering effect is transient. Continuing our examination of the back, we note how the quite unindicated curve of...

Architecture And The Nude

Fairly simple idea of what is happening to the spinal column, just how much lateral deviation it is undergoing, just how much rotation, just how much back-and-forward flexion. It is from such a clearly conceived starting-point that we must build up the arrangement of the other parts of the trunk. If we are drawing a back view and can see the backbone line, so much the better if not, we must imagine it, hold it ever in our mind's eye, and adapt all other rhythms to its primal Fig. 63. Diagram of...

Monocular Vision Assumed

You can hardly see clearly anything else but this small object that everything round it fades off into ever-growing imprecision. If we are really desirous of painting the appearance of things, why is this effect not always reproduced in all pictures In our perspective we assume a motionless monocular view-point, and then deliberately paint, all over the surface of the canvas, detail just as ' finished up ' as though the eye and consequently the point of sight were exactly opposite each point of...