A figure drawing is a drawing of the human form in any of its various shapes and postures using any of the drawing media. The term can refer to the act of producing such a drawing; the degree of representation may range from detailed, anatomically correct renderings to loose and expressive sketches. A "life drawing" is a drawing of the human figure from observation of a live model. A figure drawing may be a composed work of art or a figure study done in preparation for a more finished work such as a painting. Figure drawing is arguably the most difficult subject an artist encounters, entire courses are dedicated to the subject; the human figure is one of the most enduring themes in the visual arts, the human figure can be the basis of portraiture, sculpture, medical illustration, other fields. Artists take a variety of approaches to drawing the human figure, they may draw from live models or from photographs, from skeletal models, or from memory and imagination. Most instruction focuses on the use of models in "life drawing" courses.
The use of photographic reference—although common since the development of photography—is criticized or discouraged for its tendency to produce "flat" images that fail to capture the dynamic aspects of the subject. Drawing from imagination is lauded for the expressiveness it encourages, criticized for the inaccuracies introduced by the artist's lack of knowledge or limited memory in visualizing the human figure. In developing the image, some artists focus on the shapes created by the interplay of light and dark values on the surfaces of the body. Others take an anatomical approach, beginning by approximating the internal skeleton of the figure, overlaying the internal organs and musculature, covering those shapes with the skin, clothing. Another approach is to loosely construct the body out of geometric shapes, e.g. a sphere for the cranium, a cylinder for the torso, etc. refine those shapes to more resemble the human form. For those working without visual reference, proportions recommended in figure drawing are: An average person is 7-and-a-half heads tall.
This can be illustrated to students in the classroom using paper plates to visually demonstrate the length of their bodies. An ideal figure, used for an impression of nobility or grace, is drawn at 8 heads tall. A heroic figure used in the depiction of gods and superheroes is eight-and-a-half. Most of the additional length comes from longer legs. Note that these proportions are most useful for a standing model. Poses which introduce foreshortening of various body parts will cause them to differ; the French Salon in the 19th century recommended the use of Conté crayons, which are sticks of wax and pigment, combined with specially formulated paper. Erasure was not permitted. A popular modern technique is the use of a charcoal stick, prepared from special vines, a rougher form of paper; the charcoal adheres loosely to the paper, allowing easy erasure, but the final drawing can be preserved using a spray-on "fixative" to keep the charcoal from rubbing off. Harder compressed charcoal can produce a more deliberate and precise effect, graduated tones can be produced by smudging with the fingers or with a cylindrical paper tool called a stump.
Graphite pencil is commonly used for figure drawing. For this purpose artists' pencils are sold in various formulations, ranging from 9B to 1B, from 1H to 9H. Like charcoal, it can be manipulated using a stump. Ink is another popular medium; the artist will start with graphite pencil to sketch or outline the drawing the final line work is done with a pen or brush, with permanent ink. The ink may be diluted with water to produce gradations, a technique called ink wash; the pencil marks may be erased after the ink is applied, or left in place with the dark inks overpowering them. Some artists draw directly in ink without the preparation of a pencil sketch, preferring the spontaneity of this approach despite the fact that it limits the ability to correct mistakes. Matisse is an artist known to have worked in this way. A favored method of Watteau and other 17th and 18th-century artists of the Baroque and Rococo era was to start with a colored ground of tone halfway between white and black, to add shade in black and highlights in white, using pen and ink or "crayon".
The human figure has been the subject of drawings since prehistoric times. While the studio practices of the artists of antiquity are a matter of conjecture, that they drew and modeled from nude models is suggested by the anatomical sophistication of their works. An anecdote related by Pliny describes how Zeuxis reviewed the young women of Agrigentum naked before selecting five whose features he would combine in order to paint an ideal image; the use of nude models in the medieval artist's workshop is implied in the writings of Cennino Cennini, a manuscript of Villard de Honnecourt confirms that sketching from life was an established practice in the 13th century. The Carracci, who opened their Accademia degli Incamminati in Bologna in the 1580s, set the pattern for art schools by making life drawing the central discipline; the course of training began with the copying of engravings proceeded to drawing from plaster casts, after which the students were trained in drawing from
Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes used carving and modelling, in stone, ceramics and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded or cast. Sculpture in stone survives far better than works of art in perishable materials, represents the majority of the surviving works from ancient cultures, though conversely traditions of sculpture in wood may have vanished entirely. However, most ancient sculpture was brightly painted, this has been lost. Sculpture has been central in religious devotion in many cultures, until recent centuries large sculptures, too expensive for private individuals to create, were an expression of religion or politics; those cultures whose sculptures have survived in quantities include the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and China, as well as many in Central and South America and Africa.
The Western tradition of sculpture began in ancient Greece, Greece is seen as producing great masterpieces in the classical period. During the Middle Ages, Gothic sculpture represented the agonies and passions of the Christian faith; the revival of classical models in the Renaissance produced famous sculptures such as Michelangelo's David. Modernist sculpture moved away from traditional processes and the emphasis on the depiction of the human body, with the making of constructed sculpture, the presentation of found objects as finished art works. A basic distinction is between sculpture in the round, free-standing sculpture, such as statues, not attached to any other surface, the various types of relief, which are at least attached to a background surface. Relief is classified by the degree of projection from the wall into low or bas-relief, high relief, sometimes an intermediate mid-relief. Sunk-relief is a technique restricted to ancient Egypt. Relief is the usual sculptural medium for large figure groups and narrative subjects, which are difficult to accomplish in the round, is the typical technique used both for architectural sculpture, attached to buildings, for small-scale sculpture decorating other objects, as in much pottery and jewellery.
Relief sculpture may decorate steles, upright slabs of stone also containing inscriptions. Another basic distinction is between subtractive carving techniques, which remove material from an existing block or lump, for example of stone or wood, modelling techniques which shape or build up the work from the material. Techniques such as casting and moulding use an intermediate matrix containing the design to produce the work; the term "sculpture" is used to describe large works, which are sometimes called monumental sculpture, meaning either or both of sculpture, large, or, attached to a building. But the term properly covers many types of small works in three dimensions using the same techniques, including coins and medals, hardstone carvings, a term for small carvings in stone that can take detailed work; the large or "colossal" statue has had an enduring appeal since antiquity. Another grand form of portrait sculpture is the equestrian statue of a rider on horse, which has become rare in recent decades.
The smallest forms of life-size portrait sculpture are the "head", showing just that, or the bust, a representation of a person from the chest up. Small forms of sculpture include the figurine a statue, no more than 18 inches tall, for reliefs the plaquette, medal or coin. Modern and contemporary art have added a number of non-traditional forms of sculpture, including sound sculpture, light sculpture, environmental art, environmental sculpture, street art sculpture, kinetic sculpture, land art, site-specific art. Sculpture is an important form of public art. A collection of sculpture in a garden setting can be called a sculpture garden. One of the most common purposes of sculpture is in some form of association with religion. Cult images are common in many cultures, though they are not the colossal statues of deities which characterized ancient Greek art, like the Statue of Zeus at Olympia; the actual cult images in the innermost sanctuaries of Egyptian temples, of which none have survived, were evidently rather small in the largest temples.
The same is true in Hinduism, where the simple and ancient form of the lingam is the most common. Buddhism brought the sculpture of religious figures to East Asia, where there seems to have been no earlier equivalent tradition, though again simple shapes like the bi and cong had religious significance. Small sculptures as personal possessions go back to the earliest prehistoric art, the use of large sculpture as public art to impress the viewer with the power of a ruler, goes back at least to the Great Sphinx of some 4,500 years ago. In archaeology and art history the appearance, sometimes disappearance, of large or monumental sculpture in a culture is regarded as of great significance, though tracing the emergence is complicated by the presumed existence of sculpture in wood and other perishable materials of which no record remains; the ability to s
Peter Paul Rubens
Sir Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish artist. He is considered the most influential artist of Flemish Baroque tradition. Rubens's charged compositions reference erudite aspects of classical and Christian history, his unique and immensely popular Baroque style emphasized movement and sensuality, which followed the immediate, dramatic artistic style promoted in the Counter-Reformation. Rubens specialized in making altarpieces, portraits and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects. In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat, knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. Rubens was a prolific artist; the catalogue of his works by Michael Jaffé lists 1,403 pieces, excluding numerous copies made in his workshop. His commissioned works were "history paintings", which included religious and mythological subjects, hunt scenes.
He painted portraits of friends, self-portraits, in life painted several landscapes. Rubens designed prints, as well as his own house, he oversaw the ephemeral decorations of the royal entry into Antwerp by the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria in 1635. His drawings are predominantly forceful and without great detail, he made great use of oil sketches as preparatory studies. He was one of the last major artists to make consistent use of wooden panels as a support medium for large works, but he used canvas as well when the work needed to be sent a long distance. For altarpieces he sometimes painted on slate to reduce reflection problems. Rubens was born in the city of Siegen to Maria Pypelincks, he was named in honour of Saint Paul, because he was born on their solemnity. His father, a Calvinist, mother fled Antwerp for Cologne in 1568, after increased religious turmoil and persecution of Protestants during the rule of the Habsburg Netherlands by the Duke of Alba. Jan Rubens became the legal adviser of Anna of Saxony, the second wife of William I of Orange, settled at her court in Siegen in 1570, fathering her daughter Christine, born in 1571.
Following Jan Rubens's imprisonment for the affair, Peter Paul Rubens was born in 1577. The family returned to Cologne the next year. In 1589, two years after his father's death, Rubens moved with his mother Maria Pypelincks to Antwerp, where he was raised as a Catholic. Religion figured prominently in much of his work, Rubens became one of the leading voices of the Catholic Counter-Reformation style of painting. In Antwerp, Rubens received a Renaissance humanist education, studying Latin and classical literature. By fourteen he began his artistic apprenticeship with Tobias Verhaeght. Subsequently, he studied under two of the city's leading painters of the time, the late Mannerist artists Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen. Much of his earliest training involved copying earlier artists' works, such as woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger and Marcantonio Raimondi's engravings after Raphael. Rubens completed his education in 1598, at which time he entered the Guild of St. Luke as an independent master.
In 1600 Rubens travelled to Italy. He stopped first in Venice, where he saw paintings by Titian and Tintoretto, before settling in Mantua at the court of Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga; the colouring and compositions of Veronese and Tintoretto had an immediate effect on Rubens's painting, his mature style was profoundly influenced by Titian. With financial support from the Duke, Rubens travelled to Rome by way of Florence in 1601. There, he copied works of the Italian masters; the Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and His Sons was influential on him, as was the art of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. He was influenced by the recent naturalistic paintings by Caravaggio. Rubens made a copy of Caravaggio's Entombment of Christ and recommended his patron, the Duke of Mantua, to purchase The Death of the Virgin. After his return to Antwerp he was instrumental in the acquisition of The Madonna of the Rosary for the St. Paul's Church in Antwerp. During this first stay in Rome, Rubens completed his first altarpiece commission, St. Helena with the True Cross for the Roman church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.
Rubens travelled to Spain on a diplomatic mission in 1603, delivering gifts from the Gonzagas to the court of Philip III. While there, he studied the extensive collections of Raphael and Titian, collected by Philip II, he painted an equestrian portrait of the Duke of Lerma during his stay that demonstrates the influence of works like Titian's Charles V at Mühlberg. This journey marked the first of many during his career that combined diplomacy, he returned to Italy in 1604, where he remained for the next four years, first in Mantua and in Genoa and Rome. In Genoa, Rubens painted numerous portraits, such as the Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria, the portrait of Maria di Antonio Serra Pallavicini, in a style that influenced paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough, he began a book illustrating the palaces in the city, published in 1622 as Palazzi di Genova. From 1606 to 1608, he was in Rome. During this period Rubens received, with the assistance of Cardinal Jacopo Serra, his most important commission to
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital, he sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Boileau, La Fontaine, Marais, Le Brun, Bossuet, Le Vau, Charles, Claude Perrault, Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished; the revocation forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the Spanish Succession. There were two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war.
He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, he was named Louis Dieudonné and bore the traditional title of French heirs apparent: Dauphin. At the time of his birth, his parents had been married for 23 years, his mother had experienced four stillbirths between 1619 and 1631. Leading contemporaries thus regarded him as his birth a miracle of God. Sensing imminent death, Louis XIII decided to put his affairs in order in the spring of 1643, when Louis XIV was four years old. In defiance of custom, which would have made Queen Anne the sole Regent of France, the king decreed that a regency council would rule on his son's behalf, his lack of faith in Queen Anne's political abilities was his primary rationale. He did, make the concession of appointing her head of the council. Louis' relationship with his mother was uncommonly affectionate for the time.
Contemporaries and eyewitnesses claimed. Both were interested in food and theatre, it is likely that Louis developed these interests through his close relationship with his mother; this long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as: "Nature was responsible for the first knots which tied me to my mother. But attachments formed by shared qualities of the spirit are far more difficult to break than those formed by blood." It was his mother who gave Louis his belief in the absolute and divine power of his monarchical rule. During his childhood, he was taken care of by the governesses Françoise de Lansac and Marie-Catherine de Senecey. In 1646, Nicolas V de Villeroy became the young king's tutor. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children François de Villeroy, divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy. On 14 May 1643, with Louis XIII dead, Queen Anne had her husband's will annulled by the Parlement de Paris.
This action made Anne sole Regent of France. Anne exiled some of her husband's ministers, she nominated Brienne as her minister of foreign affairs. Anne nominated Saint Vincent de Paul as her spiritual adviser, which helped her deal with religious policy and the Jansenism question. Anne kept the direction of religious policy in her hand until 1661. Anne wanted to give her son a victorious kingdom, her rationales for choosing Mazarin were his ability and his total dependence on her, at least until 1653 when she was no longer regent. Anne protected Mazarin by arresting and exiling her followers who conspired against him in 1643: the Duke of Beaufort and Marie de Rohan, she left the direction of the daily administration of policy to Cardinal Mazarin. The best example of Anne's statesmanship and the partial change in her heart towards her native Spain is seen in her keeping of one of Richelieu's men, the Chancellor of France Pierre Séguier, in his post. Séguier was the pers
Nicolas Poussin was the leading painter of the classical French Baroque style, although he spent most of his working life in Rome. Most of his works were on religious and mythological subjects painted for a small group of Italian and French collectors, he returned to Paris for a brief period to serve as First Painter to the King under Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu, but soon returned to Rome and resumed his more traditional themes. In his years he gave growing prominence to the landscapes in his pictures, his work is characterized by clarity and order, favors line over color. Until the 20th century he remained a major inspiration for such classically-oriented artists as Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Paul Cézanne. Details of Poussin's artistic training are somewhat obscure. Around 1612 he traveled to Paris, where he studied under minor masters and completed his earliest surviving works, his enthusiasm for the Italian works he saw in the royal collections in Paris motivated him to travel to Rome in 1624, where he studied the works of Renaissance and Baroque painters—especially Raphael, who had a powerful influence on his style.
He befriended a number of artists who shared his classicizing tendencies, met important patrons, such as Cardinal Francesco Barberini and the antiquarian Cassiano dal Pozzo. The commissions Poussin received for modestly scaled paintings of religious and historical subjects allowed him to develop his individual style in works such as The Death of Germanicus, The Massacre of the Innocents, the first of his two series of the Seven Sacraments, he was persuaded to return to France in 1640 to be First Painter to the King but, dissatisfied with the overwhelming workload and the court intrigues, returned permanently to Rome after a little more than a year. Among the important works from his years are Orion Blinded Searching for the Sun, Landscape with Hercules and Cacus, The Seasons. Nicolas Poussin's early biographer was his friend Giovanni Pietro Bellori, who relates that Poussin was born near Les Andelys in Normandy and that he received an education that included some Latin, which would stand him in good stead.
Another early friend and biographer, André Félibien, reported that "He was busy without cease filling his sketchbooks with an infinite number of different figures which only his imagination could produce." His early sketches attracted the notice of Quentin Varin, who passed some time in Andelys, but there is no mention by his biographers that he had a formal training in Varin's studio, though his works showed the influence of Varin by their storytelling, accuracy of facial expression, finely painted drapery and rich colors. His parents opposed a painting career for him, In or around 1612, at the age of eighteen, he ran away to Paris, he arrived in Paris during the regency of Marie de Medici, when art was flourishing as a result of the royal commissions given by Marie de Medici for the decoration of her palace, by the rise of wealthy Paris merchants who bought art. There was a substantial market for paintings in the redecoration of churches outside Paris destroyed during the French Wars of Religion, which had ended, for the numerous convents in Paris and other cities.
However, Poussin was not a member of the powerful guild of master painters and sculptors, which had a monopoly on most art commissions and brought lawsuits against outsiders like Poussin who tried to break into the profession. His early sketches gained him a place in the studios of established painters, he worked for three months in the studio of the Flemish painter Ferdinand Elle, who painted exclusively portraits, a genre, of little interest to Poussin. He moved next to the studio of Georges Lallemand, but Lallemand's inattention to precise drawing and the articulation of his figures displeased Poussin. Moreover, Poussin did not fit well into the studio system, in which several painters worked on the same painting. Thereafter he preferred to work slowly and alone. Little is known of his life in Paris at this time. Court records show, he studied anatomy and perspective, but the most important event of his first residence in Paris was his discovery of the royal art collections, thanks to his friendship with Alexandre Courtois, the valet de chambre of Marie de Medicis.
There he saw for the first time engravings of the works of Giulio Romano and of Raphael, whose work had an enormous influence on his future style. He first tried to travel to Rome in 1617 or 1618, but made it only as far as Florence, where, as his biographer Bellori reported, "as a result of some sort of accident, he returned to France." On his return, he began making paintings for Paris convents. In 1622 made another attempt to go to Rome, but went only as far as Lyon before returning. In the summer of the same year, he received his first important commission: the Order of Jesuits requested a series of six large paintings to honor the canonization of their founder, Saint Francis Xavier; the originality and energy of these paintings brought him a series of important commissions. Giambattista Marino, the court poet to Marie de Medici, employed him to make a series of fifteen drawings, eleven illustrating Ovid's Metamorphoses and four illustrating battle scenes from Roman history; the "Marino drawings", now at Windsor Castle, are among the earliest identifiable works of Poussin.
Marino's influence led to a commission for some decoration of Marie de Medici's residence, the Luxembourg Palace a commission from the first Archbishop of Paris, Jean-François de Gondi, for a painting of the death of the Virgin for
Ary Scheffer was a Dutch-French Romantic painter. He was known for his works based on literature, with paintings based on the works of Dante and Lord Byron, as well as religious subjects, he was a prolific painter of portraits of famous and influential people in his lifetime. Politically, Scheffer had strong ties to King Louis Philippe I, having been employed as a teacher of the latter's children, which allowed him to live a life of luxury for many years until the French Revolution of 1848. Scheffer was the son of Johan Bernard Scheffer, a portrait painter, born in Homberg upon Ohm or Kassel and moved to The Netherlands in his youth, Cornelia Lamme, a portrait miniature painter and daughter of landscape painter Arie Lamme of Dordrecht, for whom Arij was named. Ary Scheffer had two brothers, the journalist and writer Karel Arnold Scheffer and the painter Hendrik Scheffer, his parents educated him and he attended the drawing academy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from the age of 11 years. In 1808 his father became the court painter of Louis Bonaparte in Amsterdam, yet his father died one year later.
Encouraged by Willem Bilderdijk, Ary moved to Lille, France for further study after the death of his father. In 1811 he and his mother, who influenced his career, moved to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts as a pupil of Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, his brothers followed them to Paris later. Scheffer started exhibiting at the Salon de Paris in 1812, he began to be recognized in 1817, in 1819 he was asked to make a portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette. Because of Lafayette's aquaintances and his brothers were politically active throughout their lives and he became a prominent Philhellene. In 1822 he became drawing teacher to the children of the Duke of Orléans; because of his connection with them, he obtained many commissions for other work. In 1830 riots against the rule of King Charles X resulted in his overthrow. On 30 July and influential journalist Adolphe Thiers rode from Paris to Orléans to ask Louis Philippe I to lead the resistance, a few days he became "King of the French".
That same year, Scheffer's daughter Cornelia was born. He registered the name of her mother as "Maria Johanna de Nes", but nothing is known of her and she may have died soon after Cornelia's birth. Considering that his grandmother's name was "Johanna de Nes", it has been speculated that he kept the name of Cornelia's mother secret so as not to compromise the reputation of a noble family. Cornelia Scheffer became a painter in her own right. Scheffer's mother did not know of her namesake granddaughter until 1837, after which she cared for her until she died only two years later. Scheffer became an associate member of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands in 1846, resigned in 1851. Scheffer and his family prospered during the reign of Louis Philippe I, who abdicated on 24 February 1848. Scheffer and Hendrik were inundated with artistic commissions, they taught numerous students in their workshop in Paris, so many that of the works produced during this period that bear his signature the number that he made himself cannot be verified.
Scheffer was elevated as commander of the Legion of Honour in 1848. As a captain of the Garde Nationale he escorted the French royal family in its escape from the Tuileries and escorted the Duchess d'Orléans to the Chambre des Députés, where she in vain proposed her son as the next monarch of France. Scheffer fought in the army of Cavaignac during the June Days Uprising in Paris of 23 to 26 June 1848; the cruelty and hatred that the governmental faction exhibited and the misery of the lower classes so shocked him that he withdrew from politics and refused to make portraits of the family of Napoléon III, who reigned after the Uprising. On 16 March 1850 he married Sophie Marin, the widow of General Baudrand, on 6 November of that year he became a French citizen, he continued to travel to The Netherlands, traveled to Belgium and England, but a heart condition impaired his activity and caused his death in 1858 in his summer house in Argenteuil. He is buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre; when Scheffer left Guérin's studio, Romanticism had come into vogue in France, with such painters as Xavier Sigalon, Eugène Delacroix and Théodore Géricault.
Scheffer did not show much affinity with their work and developed his own style, called "frigidly classical". Scheffer painted subjects from literature the works of Dante and Goethe. Two versions of Dante and Beatrice have been preserved at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, United Kingdom, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, US. Praised was his Francesca da Rimini, painted in 1836, which illustrates a scene from Dante Alighieri's Inferno. In the piece the entwined bodies of Francesca di Rimini and Paolo Malatesta swirl around in the never-ending tempest, the second circle of Hell; the illusion of movement is created by the drapery that envelopes the couple, as well as by Francesca's flowing hair. These two figures create a diagonal line that intersects the majority of the canvas creating not only a sense of movement, but giving the painting an air of instability. Francesca clings to Paolo. There are an additional two figures in the image: hidden in the background, the poets Dante and Virgil look on as they make their way through the nine circles of Hell.
Scheffer's popular Faust-themed paintings include Margaret at her wheel.