Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On Drawing - Rubens

Click images for enlargments

Transcribed from sketchbook while doing research at the Art Gallery of Ontario:
There are a few drawings here. The Prints and Drawings section in exclusively etchings at the moment. An interesting exhibition on Lucian Freud and Rembrandt, but they are not drawings. There is a similarity in the product but the process differs.
As I wander around the rest of the gallery I have come across a few Lithographs and a few drawings. Most of the drawings appear to be prep work for later paintings. Right now I am sitting in front of Rubens' Massacre of the Innocents. It is on the end wall of a near empty room. I say near the empty because over my right shoulder, hanging in the corner are six drawings. They are done in brown ink with a pen. They are smaller than an A4 sheet of paper. The drawings are anatomical studies done by Rubens in preparation for the Massacre of the Innocents.

They are beautiful.

Peter Paul Rubens

Six Anatomical Studies
around 1600-1610
black chalk, pen and brown ink,
brown wash on paper

The line work is amazing. Combined with the wash produces an amazing effect.
Only through attempting to draw or reproduce the image in front of me did I really understand what went into the original. The time taken and the effort put forth.

The exactness with which the lines are drawn to highlight a section of a muscle.

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