The drawings of five great masters of French painting, Poussin, Watteau, Fragonard, David and Ingres, analyzed by a leading specialist.
[From drawing to painting. Poussin, Watteau, Fragonard, David and Ingres] How, why and for whom did Poussin, Watteau, Fragonard, David and Ingres make drawings? What importance did they attribute to this activity? How, or through whom, have these drawings reached us? What can help us to better understand their intentions and to enter their universe?
In this volume, a reworking of the A.W. Mellon Lectures given by Pierre Rosenberg at the National Gallery of Washington in April and May 1996, the author demonstrates how each artist approaches drawing in a different way, reflecting his or her working habits and personal aims: for Poussin it was but a working tool, while for Fragonard it represented a true, and particularly remunerative, activity; Watteau was more at ease with a sheet of paper than a canvas, while David and Ingres felt drawing was indispensable in the pedagogical processes of copying from ancient works and the great masters.
The author’s interest in both painting and drawing – an aspect that might sound commonplace – is actually quite unusual: drawing specialists rarely write about painting, and vice versa. From drawing to painting mixes biographical information on the five artists with a fascinating look at dozens of their drawings, seen in relation to their painted works. An obligatory phase in the passage from a compositional idea to its realization on canvas, drawing plays an essential role in the creative process of the artist. With the aid of over 450 illustrations, this book explores drawing as a sphere of reflection, offering readers an unprecedented vantage point on artistic creation.