Art historian uncovers secret behind impressionist master’s ‘off-the-cuff’ sketches
— Read on www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/nov/09/manet-effortless-doodles-tracing-paper
Reblog Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd
This is a relatively short, easy to read article from The Guardian illustrating and discussing a recent discovery that Manet, one of the (in my opinion) founding and great impressionist painters of his time, would trace out (via watercolor wash I think) on tracing paper part of an image that had taken some time to create, then transfer (not described how) to letters he wrote folks and represent it as being new and spontaneous to the moment he was in writing to that person.
There’s interesting speculation that Manet may have done this due to reputation anxieties (who would think, lol!).
It crossed my mind that another possibility (because evidently, I’m not 100% sure, other artists back then were “copying” something within their work, ie, Vermeer as an example) that Manet may have been referring to the then moment of watercoloring his copied sketch as what was new and spontaneous to communicating with that person.
It’d be interesting to see a followup article which maybe exams the same sketch and how it was recreated in fresh watercolors, and see how much similarity or divergence there was between renditions. And, how each rendition differed (if they did) from each other as per the communication it was attached to, ie, was each sketch‘s new watercolor creation spontaneously re-created, or are they all basically the same.
All in all, yes, a very interesting article from The Guardian!
of the illustrated letters: “They are always described as breezy, virtuosic and effortless, and dashed off in a moment. But what I discovered is that most of these things seem to have been traced from more searching and careful drawings that he’d made in his sketchbooks. He would take semi-transparent letter paper, lay it down over a sketchbook page, trace that design with a wash of grey watercolour and then basically colour it in with watercolour.”Beeny, associate curator of drawings at the J Paul Getty Museum
On a related side note, it’s interesting I just recently uploaded a post about me and our youngest grandchild practicing his drawing via transfer paper and doing an original watercolor wash ❤️
Hoping everyone’s doing well this Friday! 😊
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