Our next drawing was copied from the Italian artist Federico Barocci. The original was done with chalk and is described as “Studies for the Martyrdom of San Vitale” and can be found at the Staatliche Museen, Berlin. My copy was done in pencil and can be found in my hall closet. I couldn’t find a copy of the drawing on the Staatliche Museen website but a similar one can be found by clicking here. Federico Barocci’s painting of the “Martyrdom of San Vitale” can be found in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. Since I haven’t talked about Federico Barocci in previous posts, let’s learn a little about this guy. I found the following information on the www.oxfordbibliographies.com website. Is it a reliable website? Well, it has the word ‘oxford’ in it so I guess so. Not only that but it also has the word ‘bibliographies’ in it which contains many syllables. You put them together and you can’t go wrong.
Since I haven’t talked about Federico Barocci…
Federico Barocci was the most well-known and well-paid Italian artist during the later 16th and early 17th centuries. He came from a successful artisan family in Urbino. He later traveled to Rome through his elder countryman Taddeo Zuccaro and received a papal commission. In the meantime, he received local commissions, resulting in his breakthrough Deposition in Perugia Cathedral in 1569. In addition to the altarpieces he provided in Arezzo and Ravenna, Barocci also received important Roman commissions that cemented his reputation. Although distorted human figures of the Mannerist style were still popular at that time, Barocci created his figures from direct observation. He used many drawings and studies to create carefully constructed paintings. Perhaps due to the sentimentality of his paintings, Barocci’s reputation declined in the 18th century. As a result, there is not much written about Federico Barocci, despite the fact that research has grown substantially in recent years and today Federico Barocci is considered one of the most brilliant draftsmen of his time.
Next up we have a copy of a drawing of Cain and Abel by Luca Cambiaso. The original was done in pen and wash. I made my copy with India Ink on watercolor paper. Right now you are probably wondering just who is this Luca Cambiaso person. Let us consult the Italian Art Society which sounds like an organization that should know what they are talking about.
Luca Cambiaso was born in Genoa, Italy on November 18, 1527. He was a top artist in Genoa during the middle and late 16th century and ran a big and productive workshop. In his childhood, he learned to paint with his father, Giovanni Cambiaso. Luca created his first works when he was only fifteen years old. At the age of seventeen, he began working with his father on the Palazzo Doria’s decoration. Additionally, Luca assisted Il Bergamasco with decorations for the church of San Matteo. Luca partnered with Giovanni Battista Castello on several projects in the 1550s. During 1560, Cambiaso completed frescoes for the Palazzo Imperiale in Campetto, Genoa, which brought him notoriety and additional commissions. FYI: Palazzo Imperiale means Imperial Palazzo in Italian. Cambiaso was asked to work for Philip II of Spain in 1583 and you don’t say no to Philip II. San Lorenzo’s church at the Hieronymite monastery of the Escorial was his first commission.
You don’t say no to Philip II
He studied Raphael and Michelangelo’s methods, and he was open to learning new ones. Luca was also impacted by the works of Titian and Veronese. In the mid-1560s, he developed a draughtsman style that incorporates geometric forms. By the 1570s, Luca’s works began to be more reflective, which he continued to develop during the rest of his career. He influenced a lot of painters, who analyzed his frescoes in Genoa. His followers became known as the Genoese School. Luca died in Madrid on September 8, 1585.
Here is a link to see a bunch of drawings by Luca Cambiaso.
The drawing above was done with black and white Prismacolor® pencils on gray-toned paper. The subject is a Satyr, which is a Greek mythological demigod that is half man and half goat. It was copied from a drawing by Jean-Baptiste Deshays. That work was originally attributed to the more famous French artist, François Boucher. I will write about Boucher later in another blog post unless I find out that the other drawings supposedly done by him were in fact drawn by other artists. Now let’s talk about Jean-Baptiste Deshays or if you want to be even more formal, Jean-Baptiste-Henri Deshays. There is not a whole lot written about Deshays. Even the people that write for Wikipedia did not have much to say about Deshay and they seem incredibly interested in everything. The information they had was taken from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. They also had one external link to the Web Gallery of Art. But unfortunately, that link went to the biography of François-Guillaume Menageot. So let us learn what we can about this talented and relatively unknown French painter.
They seem incredibly interested in everything.
Born on November 27, 1729 in Colleville, France, Jean-Baptiste Deshays first learned how to paint from his father. At the age of 20, he moved into the studio of Jean Restout II, who, like Collin de Vermont, was a student of Jean Jouvenet and followed in the grand tradition of French history painting. During his studies with Restout, Deshays learned the importance of dramatic compositions and intense colors in big religious paintings. While he was in Restout’s studio, Deshays entered the prestigious Prix de Rome competition, winning second prize in 1750 and then the first prize in 1751. Deshays was required to spend three years at the Ecole des Eleves Protégés before proceeding to Rome. The school director, Carle Van Loo helped him develop a more stylish, looser style and tone down the intense training he received from Jouvenet. During this time, he painted a number of religious paintings, which are now lost, including two large canvases, an Annunciation and a Visitation, for the Rouen monastery of the Visitation. In Rome, under the supervision of Charles-Joseph Natoire, he spent four years completing his artistic instruction. Raphael, Domenichino, Guercino, and Carracci were among the Italian masters he copied during this period. His return to Paris in 1758 was followed by his marriage to François Boucher’s eldest daughter and his membership into the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Despite only exhibiting at four official Salons, the artist was highly praised for his work.
Here is a link to Jean-Baptiste Deshays’ “Seated Satyr Leaning Backward” 1758/1765.
The graphite drawing above is a copy of a work done in black chalk by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino or if you prefer just Raphael. I feel sorry for anyone else by the name of Raffaello or Raphael because it is highly unlikely that the world will remember them by their first name alone. The original drawing by Raphael, described as ‘Nude Man seated on a Stone’, is in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford. The image on their website has a watermark on it so you will have to imagine the original drawing having no watermark. Now I shall consult the trusty Wikipedia to write about the drawings of Raphael.
Raphael was regarded as one of the finest draftsmen in Western art history. Before he began a composition, he would lay out several of his stock drawings on the floor and start drawing quickly, borrowing figures from here, there, and everywhere. According to the number of variations that survive, Raphael combined different drawings into his poses and compositions. Raphael would come up with four or six strategies to show a narrative, each one different from the next, and all of them were full of elegance and originality. The art of Raphael represents a shift in resources from production to research and development. A full-size preliminary drawing or ‘cartoon’ was made and then pricked with a pin and “pounced” with soot to leave dotted lines on the surface as a guide for completing the painted composition. He also used a metal stylus to scratch lines on paper and plaster, leaving only an indentation, but no marks. They can be seen on the walls of his frescoes and in the originals of many drawings. In his final years, Raphael was one of the first artists to use female models for preparatory drawings. Up to this time, only male models were used to draw and paint both male and female figures.
The above is another copy of a Tintoretto drawing located in the Museum of Budapest and is titled “Two Studies after the so-called “Atlas” Statuette.” In the description section under the drawing, it states “This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.” So what does that mean? As I’ve mentioned in a couple of other blog posts, sometimes a work of art is found to be by another lesser-known artist. It can create quite a brouhaha. So the original drawing might have been done by one of Tintoretto’s students or assistants. Or perhaps a follower of Tintoretto or maybe even ‘gasp’ a forger with a desceptive motive. Wow, things are really heating up, aren’t they? Who knows maybe by the time you read this we might find out what the museum staff discovered. Until then we will talk about the subject of the drawing.
The following information about the myth of Atlas was borrowed or taken from classicalwisdom.com
The story of Atlas may have been founded on a Pelasgian myth, a tale associated with the original residents of Greece. Atlas was extremely powerful and had a brother named Prometheus. I wrote about Prometheus in a previous post, I hope you were paying attention. Atlas was one of Zeus’ greatest rivals and Zeus was kind of a big deal. Zeus along with the rest of the Olympians greatly feared Titan and his fellow Titans. In the end, the Olympians prevailed and conquered the Titans. The other Titans were incarcerated by Zeus in Tartarus, which is the name for hell. Since the Olympians feared and hated Atlas, they devised a special punishment for him. Atlas was sentenced to stand at the western end of the earth. He was then forced to carry the sky on his shoulders forever. According to my research, forever is a very long time. Atlas suffered a great deal because he had to bear such a hefty load. Over the centuries, a misconception emerged that he was destined to hold up the entire world. This is probably a result of artworks created during the Renaissance that misinterpreted the original myths. The Greeks believed Atlas held up the sky over what is now the country of Morocco.
Here we have a Prismacolor® pencil drawing of a young man copied from a drawing of a young man drawn by Jacopo Tintoretto. Prismacolor® makes 150 different colors. I used only black and white. Why am I mentioning this? I really thought if I started writing I would be able to come up with something funny to say. As you can see, that did not happen. I realize the style of the drawing makes the young man look like a bag of walnuts but if you see the original, it kind of looks like that. It is in the collection of the governing body of Christ Church in Oxford, United Kingdom. I could not find an image of the drawing on their site. Since I am not part of the governing body, there isn’t a whole lot I can do. Here is a link to another Tintoretto drawing so you can see his style. I thought I would consult the World History Encyclopedia to find out about this exceptional artist.
These models were then placed inside a box.
The following information on Tintoretto was taken, borrowed, and perhaps stolen from the World History Encyclopedia. Tintoretto’s real name was Jacopo Robusti, and he was born in Venice in 1518. He began his career as an artist creating unassuming works such as decorated furniture and frescoes on exterior walls. It was, however, his large paintings that would make him famous. It has been said that his work combines the drawing style of Michelangelo along with Titian’s use of color. In his drawings and paintings, Tintoretto created muscular figures posed in unusual positions. Mannerism would be the name given to this technique. In the 17th century, the Mannerist style would become a major influence on artists. Tintoretto’s artistic style is also defined by his light source. He would create areas of shadow and color that are distinctive and dramatic. As part of the process of creating his work, the artist would first construct small wax models of human figures. These models were then placed inside a box. It was then possible to organize the models and use an artificial light source to illuminate them. As a result, different and unique effects of light and shadow would be created. Although today Tintoretto is considered a great Italian Master, throughout his career, he was criticized for his rapid pace and lack of finish in his art.
Here is yet another graphite pencil drawing copied from the work by an old master of the Italian Renaissance. I am well aware that the drawing looks like an old hippy with a frisbee but it is actually a drawing of St. John the Baptist holding a frisbee after the artist Andrea del Sarto. To learn more about our featured artist, I typed the name Sarto into a Google search. But unfortunately, I got images of shoes by Franco Sarto. Lots and lots of shoes. So I then typed the name Andrea del Sarto into the search bar and found some information that might be useful. The following particulars come from the fine person(s) at Wikipedia.
Andrea del Sarto, originally named Agnolo di Francesco di Luca, was an Italian painter from Florence who prospered during the High Renaissance and early Mannerism periods. Due to the fact that his father, Agnolo, was a tailor, which means Sarto in Italian, he became known as “del Sarto.” (meaning “tailor’s son”). Pretty clever, eh? Born in 1486, Andrea del Sarto was first apprenticed to a goldsmith in 1494, and later to a woodcarver and painter named Gian Barile. Then he apprenticed to Piero di Cosimo and Raffaellino del Garbo. If you’re like me you have no idea who all of these people are. In addition to his talents as a painter, he was also a sculptor, a draftsman, a fresco decorator, and a colorist. Del Sarto was highly regarded during his lifetime. Unfortunately, after his death, his legacy was overshadowed by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo.
“On the bright side…”
On the bright side, Andrea del Sarto inspired a play that was written by Alfred de Musset in 1848 aptly titled “Andre del Sarto”. But wait there’s more. Based on Alfred de Musset’s 1848 play, Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur composed, once again aptly titled, “Andrea del Sarto” in 1968.
If you want to see the original drawing in person you will have to visit the National Gallery of Victoria located in Southbank, Melbourne, Australia. Here are the coordinates: 37.822595°S 144.968634°E.
Click on the link, if you would like to see a facsimile of the original drawing by Andrea del Sarto of St. John the Baptist.
Just above this well worded post is a copy in pencil of a sketch by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. His close personal friends just called him Michelangelo. Today he is known by the name Señor Simoni. The drawing is a preparatory study St. Laurence or St. Lawrence done in red chalk for the Sistine Chapel. I created my copy in graphite pencil because chalk is messy, tends to smear and has that scratchy feeling when you draw with it. Whereas a pencil has wood around it so my delicate hands never even have to touch the actual drawing medium. When someone tries to insult me by saying I am afraid to get my hands dirty, I really can’t argue with him or her but more likely a he. Since we have talked about drawing mediums and Señor Simoni (Michelangelo), I think we’ll talk about the subject of the drawing, St. Laurence. I have taken most of the information from the online version of the encyclopedia Britannica as oppose to the actual set of Britannica books.
Today he is known by the name Señor Simoni.
Saint Laurence or Saint Lawrence, if you’re partial to the letter ‘w’, passed away in 258 in Rome, Italy. I couldn’t find out when he was born. Only when he died. That is a sign of someone living their best life. They go totally unnoticed when they are born but when they die it is sure as hell recorded. He was a extremely celebrated martyr. I didn’t read about how he died but when he is described as a martyr you know it can’t be good. Actually, I just found out that he was probably beheaded. I am telling you this just in case your a real martyrdom buff.
Saint Lawrence is known as the patron Saint of the poor because he apparently gave away the churches riches to the sick and poor. He is also known as the patron Saint of Cooks because it is also quite possible that he was cooked to death on a gridiron. I think that’s why the date of his death was recorded. Your peers definitely wouldn’t forget something like that.
Here is the link if you would like to see a facsimile of the drawing I copied: Study of St. Lawrence for the Last Judgement in black chalk at the Teyler Museum, Haarlem by Michelangelo Buonarotti.
The black and white Prismacolor® pencil drawing above was copied from a work by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Now we just refer to him as Tiepolo, since we are not very formal in these casual modern times. Tiepolo’s drawing was done in 1752 with white and red chalk on blue tinted paper. The drawing is in the collection at the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, Germany. In German, the medium that he used is called “Rötel; weiße Kreide on Papier” which Google translated to “rubella; white chalk on paper”. You read that correctly. It was drawn with rubella. It was drawn with a contagious viral infection that causes red rash. I know what you are thinking. This can’t be right. So I did some research. Real honest to goodness research and it turns out that “Rötel” is a Japanese manufacturer of high end audio and video equipment. Of course, that can’t be right either. Then I realized I forgot to include a umlaut when I searched. Finally, I entered just the word “Rötel” into google translate with the umlauts and it said it was “red chalk”.
That sounds about right.
Now let’s talk about the Giovanni Battista Tiepolo drawing in question. The standing male half-nude drawing is believed to be a preparatory sketch for the painting entitled “The Death of Hyacinthus” finished in early 1753. The final figure is in more of a reclined position. Tiepolo completed the large painting with the help of his two sons, Lorenzo and Giandomenico. The painting is part of a series illustrating the story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. It pertains to the love of the immortal god Apollo to the mortal human Hyacinthus. Apparently, Hyacinthus was trying to throw a discus, accidentally hit himself in the head and died. There are different accounts on how he would be able to create such a blunder but the result was the same. He died from throwing a discus at his own head. Apollo then tried unsuccessfully to bring him back to life. It was then that Apollo had the great idea to turn Hyacinthus into a flower. I am just going to assume that the flower is what we now call a Hyacinthus. I would try to verify that but I really want to finish this blog.