The purpose of this volume is to introduce the reader to the pleasure of looking at master drawings. Through forty-five spectacular works of art, each shown in full and with an enlarged detail, the book simulates the experience of looking at a drawing through a magnifying glass: we can see the techniques and materials used and get close to the artist's creativity. They are roughly ordered by date and were chosen for inclusion because, in addition to yielding beautiful details, they encompass a wide variety of media and techniques. Accompanying short texts highlight particular aspects of each work; italicized technical terms are explained in an accessible and informative glossary at the back. Works by some of the greatest masters of the craft―Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer, Raphael, Rembrandt, Ingres, Goya, Seurat, and Van Gogh—are included.
The reader will gain insights into why artists made drawings, how they used the media available to them—including red chalk, watercolor, pen and ink, and pastel—and their techniques, such as hatching, stumping, squaring, and heightening. This beautiful and unpretentious book has a wide appeal and is especially invaluable for art students, practicing artists, and those who study art and art history.
Julian Brooks is associate curator in the Department of Drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum.