Sunday, February 11, 2007


I hadn't intended to put up another fine art post so soon but I'm too sleepy to write something original and these Rubens drawings really are worth seeing. Be sure to click to enlarge.

The picture of the young girl above is from 1630 or so, done in red and black chalk with a little red ink brushed in and with white chalk for corrections. This stands out even among Rubens' other drawings. The girl is a specific person. We can see how in real life she'd be riddled with flaws as we all are, and yet at the same time she exemplifies an ideal of grace, depth and intellect.

I may have posted this one before, I can't remember. It's a study for a picture showing Daniel in the Lion's den.

I can't remember what this drawing was for. Maybe a crucifiction scene. The right side of the body and the elbow in particular leap out of the drawing. The figure has incredible solidity and weight.


Sean Worsham said...

I remember having to redraw several rubens drawings for my anatomy class at AAU. Very inspiring stuff when it comes to learning weight.

katzenjammer studios said...

Beautiful portrait. John Singer Sargent said for a person's portrait, to paint the difference between the two eyes. That always stuck in my mind.

Hey Eddie, why do you think it's harder to do funny with volumes, as opposed to flat? Is there something inherently funny about crude drawings? A pushed funny drawing would seem to defeat people's expectations (since volumetric would equate to realism), and have more potential interest for entertainment. Just wondering if you have an(other) earth-shattering theory.

William said...

More Rubens! I stole an older, extremely well printed Rubens book from my wife that focuses on his sketches. I think it was you that said "he really paints the greatness in a man." It's true, it makes me feel better than the beasts, looking at what he's accomplished alone.

katz: It's funny, I always thought more volume helped things be funnier a lot easier beacuse you get more depth in motion. Motion equals emotion and expression, which equals funny to me. But I agree, we need more Eddie theories. Can't wait for the acting post.

Lester Hunt said...

Beautiful! On a bad day, I can be heard bitching about how the pre-Romantic painters spent (had to spend!) so much of their work-time on glorifying the church and the state, bowing to their powerful patrons. But I guess we can avoid that factor by looking at their drawings instead of their paintings. There's a comparative lack of propaganda-content!

Anonymous said...

A volumetric Bugs Bunny is much funnier than the flat Fairly Odd Parents.

Kali Fontecchio said...

Rubens is great, such skill.

chrisheadrick said...

the painting "Daniel in the Lion's Den" is at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and should not be missed.

I still remember when I saw it about age 13. I found it far more impressive than the Ginevra de Benci, which was considered the treasure of the museum.