Drawing is a form of visual art in which a person uses various drawing instruments to mark paper or another two-dimensional medium. Instruments include graphite pencils and ink, various kinds of paints, inked brushes, colored pencils, charcoal, pastels, various kinds of erasers, markers and various metals. Digital drawing is the act of using a computer to draw. Common methods of digital drawing include a stylus or finger on a touchscreen device, stylus- or finger-to-touchpad, or in some cases, a mouse. There are many digital art devices. A drawing instrument releases a small amount of material onto a surface; the most common support for drawing is paper, although other materials, such as cardboard, plastic, leather and board, may be used. Temporary drawings may be made on a blackboard or whiteboard or indeed anything; the medium has been a fundamental means of public expression throughout human history. It is one of most efficient means of communicating visual ideas; the wide availability of drawing instruments makes drawing one of the most common artistic activities.
In addition to its more artistic forms, drawing is used in commercial illustration, architecture and technical drawing. A quick, freehand drawing not intended as a finished work, is sometimes called a sketch. An artist who practices or works in technical drawing may be called a drafter, draftsman or a draughtsman. Drawing is one of the oldest forms of human expression within the visual arts, it is concerned with the marking of lines and areas of tone onto paper/other material, where the accurate representation of the visual world is expressed upon a plane surface. Traditional drawings were monochrome, or at least had little colour, while modern colored-pencil drawings may approach or cross a boundary between drawing and painting. In Western terminology, drawing is distinct from painting though similar media are employed in both tasks. Dry media associated with drawing, such as chalk, may be used in pastel paintings. Drawing may be done with a liquid medium, applied with pens. Similar supports can serve both: painting involves the application of liquid paint onto prepared canvas or panels, but sometimes an underdrawing is drawn first on that same support.
Drawing is exploratory, with considerable emphasis on observation, problem-solving and composition. Drawing is regularly used in preparation for a painting, further obfuscating their distinction. Drawings created. There are several categories of drawing, including figure drawing, cartooning and freehand. There are many drawing methods, such as line drawing, shading, the surrealist method of entopic graphomania, tracing. A quick, unrefined drawing may be called a sketch. In fields outside art, technical drawings or plans of buildings, machinery and other things are called "drawings" when they have been transferred to another medium by printing. Drawing is one of the oldest forms of human expression, with evidence for its existence preceding that of written communication, it is believed that drawing was used as a specialised form of communication before the invention of the written language, demonstrated by the production of cave and rock paintings around 30,000 years ago. These drawings, known as pictograms, depicted abstract concepts.
The sketches and paintings produced by Neolithic times were stylised and simplified in to symbol systems and into early writing systems. Before the widespread availability of paper, 12th-century monks in European monasteries used intricate drawings to prepare illustrated, illuminated manuscripts on vellum and parchment. Drawing has been used extensively in the field of science, as a method of discovery and explanation. In 1609, astronomer Galileo Galilei explained the changing phases of the moon through his observational telescopic drawings. In 1924, geophysicist Alfred Wegener used illustrations to visually demonstrate the origin of the continents. Drawing is used to express one's creativity, therefore has been prominent in the world of art. Throughout much of history, drawing was regarded as the foundation for artistic practice. Artists used and reused wooden tablets for the production of their drawings. Following the widespread availability of paper in the 14th century, the use of drawing in the arts increased.
At this point, drawing was used as a tool for thought and investigation, acting as a study medium whilst artists were preparing for their final pieces of work. The Renaissance brought about a great sophistication in drawing techniques, enabling artists to represent things more realistically than before, revealing an interest in geometry and philosophy; the invention of the first available form of photography led to a shift in the hierarchy of the arts. Photography offered an alternative to drawing as a method for representing visual phenomena, traditional drawing practice was given less emphasis as an essential skill for artists so in Western society. Drawing became significant as an art form around the late 15th century, with artists and master engravers such as Albrecht Dürer and Martin Schongauer, the first Northern engraver known by name. Schongauer came from Alsac
Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil linseed oil. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by the addition of a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit, varnish may be added to increase the glossiness of the dried oil paint film. Oil paints have been used in Europe since the 12th century for simple decoration, but were not adopted as an artistic medium until the early 15th century. Common modern applications of oil paint are in finishing and protection of wood in buildings and exposed metal structures such as ships and bridges, its hard-wearing properties and luminous colors make it desirable for both interior and exterior use on wood and metal. Due to its slow-drying properties, it has been used in paint-on-glass animation. Thickness of coat has considerable bearing on time required for drying: thin coats of oil paint dry quickly; the technical history of the introduction and development of oil paint, the date of introduction of various additives is still—despite intense research since the mid 19th century—not well understood.
The literature abounds with incorrect theories and information: in general, anything published before 1952 is suspect. Until 1991 nothing was known about the organic aspect of cave paintings from the Paleolithic era. Many assumptions were made about the chemistry of the binders; the oldest known oil paintings date from 650 AD, found in 2008 in caves in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley, "using walnut and poppy seed oils." Though the ancient Mediterranean civilizations of Greece and Egypt used vegetable oils, there is little evidence to indicate their use as media in painting. Indeed, linseed oil was not used as a medium because of its tendency to dry slowly and crack, unlike mastic and wax. Greek writers such as Aetius Amidenus recorded recipes involving the use of oils for drying, such as walnut, hempseed, pine nut and linseed; when thickened, the oils became resinous and could be used as varnish to seal and protect paintings from water. Additionally, when yellow pigment was added to oil, it could be spread over tin foil as a less expensive alternative to gold leaf.
Early Christian monks used the techniques in their own artworks. Theophilus Presbyter, a 12th-century German monk, recommended linseed oil but advocated against the use of olive oil due to its long drying time. Oil paint was used as it is today in house decoration, as a tough waterproof cover for exposed woodwork outdoors. In the 13th century, oil was used to detail tempera paintings. In the 14th century, Cennino Cennini described a painting technique utilizing tempera painting covered by light layers of oil; the slow-drying properties of organic oils were known to early painters. However, the difficulty in acquiring and working the materials meant that they were used; as public preference for naturalism increased, the quick-drying tempera paints became insufficient to achieve the detailed and precise effects that oil could achieve. The Early Netherlandish painting of the 15th century saw the rise of the panel painting purely in oils, or oil painting, or works combining tempera and oil painting, by the 16th century easel painting in pure oils had become the norm, using much the same techniques and materials found today.
The claim by Vasari that Jan van Eyck "invented" oil painting, while it has cast a long shadow, is not correct, but van Eyck's use of oil paint achieved novel results in terms of precise detail and mixing colours wet-on-wet with a skill hardly equalled since. Van Eyck’s mixture may have consisted of piled glass, calcined bones, mineral pigments boiled in linseed oil until they reached a viscous state—or he may have used sun-thickened oils, he left no written documentation. The Flemish-trained or influenced Antonello da Messina, who Vasari wrongly credited with the introduction of oil paint to Italy, does seem to have improved the formula by adding litharge, or lead oxide; the new mixture had better drying properties. This mixture was known as oglio cotto—"cooked oil." Leonardo da Vinci improved these techniques by cooking the mixture at a low temperature and adding 5 to 10% beeswax, which prevented darkening of the paint. Giorgione and Tintoretto each may have altered this recipe for their own purposes.
The paint tube was invented in 1841 by portrait painter John Goffe Rand, superseding pig bladders and glass syringes as the primary tool of paint transport. Artists, or their assistants ground each pigment by hand mixing the binding oil in the proper proportions. Paints could now be sold in tin tubes with a cap; the cap could be screwed back on and the paints preserved for future use, providing flexibility and efficiency to painting outdoors. The manufactured paints had a balanced consistency that the artist could thin with oil, turpentine, or other mediums. Paint in tubes changed the way some artists approached painting; the artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir said, “Without tubes of paint, there would have been no Impressionism.” For the impressionists, tubed paints offered an accessible variety of colors for their plein air palettes, motivating them to make spontaneous color choices. With greater quantities of preserved paint, they were able to apply paint more thickly. Traditional oil paints require an oil that always hardens, forming a impermeable film.
Such oils are called siccative, or drying and are characterized by high levels of po
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni or more known by his first name Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter and poet of the High Renaissance born in the Republic of Florence, who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered by many the greatest artist of his lifetime, by some the greatest artist of all time, his artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival, the fellow Florentine and client of the Medici, Leonardo da Vinci. A number of Michelangelo's works of painting and architecture rank among the most famous in existence, his output in these fields was prodigious. He sculpted two of the Pietà and David, before the age of thirty. Despite holding a low opinion of painting, he created two of the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, The Last Judgment on its altar wall.
His design of the Laurentian Library pioneered Mannerist architecture. At the age of 74, he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter's Basilica, he transformed the plan so that the western end was finished to his design, as was the dome, with some modification, after his death. Michelangelo was the first Western artist. In fact, two biographies were published during his lifetime. One of them, by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that Michelangelo's work transcended that of any artist living or dead, was "supreme in not one art alone but in all three". In his lifetime, Michelangelo was called Il Divino, his contemporaries admired his terribilità—his ability to instil a sense of awe. Attempts by subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelo's impassioned personal style resulted in Mannerism, the next major movement in Western art after the High Renaissance. Michelangelo was born on 6 March 1475 in Caprese, known today as Caprese Michelangelo, a small town situated in Valtiberina, near Arezzo, Tuscany.
For several generations, his family had been small-scale bankers in Florence. At the time of Michelangelo's birth, his father was the town's Judicial administrator and podestà or local administrator of Chiusi della Verna. Michelangelo's mother was Francesca di Neri del Miniato di Siena; the Buonarrotis claimed to descend from the Countess Mathilde of Canossa—a claim that remains unproven, but which Michelangelo believed. Several months after Michelangelo's birth, the family returned to Florence. During his mother's prolonged illness, after her death in 1481, Michelangelo lived with a nanny and her husband, a stonecutter, in the town of Settignano, where his father owned a marble quarry and a small farm. There he gained his love for marble; as Giorgio Vasari quotes him: "If there is some good in me, it is because I was born in the subtle atmosphere of your country of Arezzo. Along with the milk of my nurse I received the knack of handling chisel and hammer, with which I make my figures." As a young boy, Michelangelo was sent to Florence to study grammar under the Humanist Francesco da Urbino.
However, he showed no interest in his schooling, preferring to copy paintings from churches and seek the company of other painters. The city of Florence was at that time Italy's greatest centre of learning. Art was sponsored by the Signoria, the merchant guilds, wealthy patrons such as the Medici and their banking associates; the Renaissance, a renewal of Classical scholarship and the arts, had its first flowering in Florence. In the early 15th century, the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, having studied the remains of Classical buildings in Rome, had created two churches, San Lorenzo's and Santo Spirito, which embodied the Classical precepts; the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti had laboured for fifty years to create the bronze doors of the Baptistry, which Michelangelo was to describe as "The Gates of Paradise". The exterior niches of the Church of Orsanmichele contained a gallery of works by the most acclaimed sculptors of Florence: Donatello, Andrea del Verrocchio, Nanni di Banco; the interiors of the older churches were covered with frescos, begun by Giotto and continued by Masaccio in the Brancacci Chapel, both of whose works Michelangelo studied and copied in drawings.
During Michelangelo's childhood, a team of painters had been called from Florence to the Vatican to decorate the walls of the Sistine Chapel. Among them was Domenico Ghirlandaio, a master in fresco painting, figure drawing and portraiture who had the largest workshop in Florence. In 1488, at age 13, Michelangelo was apprenticed to Ghirlandaio; the next year, his father persuaded Ghirlandaio to pay Michelangelo as an artist, rare for someone of fourteen. When in 1489, Lorenzo de' Medici, de facto ruler of Florence, asked Ghirlandaio for his two best pupils, Ghirlandaio sent Michelangelo and Francesco Granacci. From 1490 to 1492, Michelangelo attended the Humanist academy the Medici had founded along Neo-Platonic lines. There his work and outlook were influenced by many of the most prominent philosophers and writers of the day, including Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Poliziano. At th
Jean-Honoré Fragonard was a French painter and printmaker whose late Rococo manner was distinguished by remarkable facility and hedonism. One of the most prolific artists active in the last decades of the Ancien Régime, Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings, of which only five are dated. Among his most popular works are genre paintings conveying an atmosphere of intimacy and veiled eroticism. Jean-Honoré Fragonard was born at Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes, the son of François Fragonard, a glover, Françoise Petit. Fragonard was articled to a Paris notary when his father's circumstances became strained through unsuccessful speculations, but showed such talent and inclination for art that he was taken at the age of eighteen to François Boucher. Boucher recognized the youth's rare gifts but, disinclined to waste his time with one so inexperienced, sent him to Chardin's atelier. Fragonard studied for six months under the great luminist returned more equipped to Boucher, whose style he soon acquired so that the master entrusted him with the execution of replicas of his paintings.
Though not yet a pupil of the Academy, Fragonard gained the Prix de Rome in 1752 with a painting of Jeroboam Sacrificing to the Golden Calf, but before proceeding to Rome he continued to study for three years under Charles-André van Loo. In the year preceding his departure he painted the Christ washing the Feet of the Apostles now at Grasse Cathedral. On 17 September 1756, he took up his abode at the French Academy in Rome presided over by Charles-Joseph Natoire. While at Rome, Fragonard contracted a friendship with Hubert Robert. In 1760, they toured Italy together, it was in these romantic gardens, with their fountains, grottos and terraces, that Fragonard conceived the dreams which he was subsequently to render in his art. He learned to admire the masters of the Dutch and Flemish schools, imitating their loose and vigorous brushstrokes. Added to this influence was the deep impression made upon his mind by the florid sumptuousness of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, whose works he had an opportunity to study in Venice before he returned to Paris in 1761.
In 1765 his Coresus et Callirhoe secured his admission to the Academy. It was made the subject of a pompous eulogy by Diderot, was bought by the king, who had it reproduced at the Gobelins factory. Hitherto Fragonard had hesitated between religious and other subjects; the portrait of Denis Diderot has had its attribution to Fragonard called into question. A lukewarm response to these series of ambitious works induced Fragonard to abandon Rococo and to experiment with Neoclassicism, he married Marie-Anne Gérard, herself a painter of miniatures, on 17 June 1769 and had a daughter, Rosalie Fragonard, who became one of his favourite models. In October 1773, he again went to Italy with Pierre-Jacques Onézyme Bergeret de Grancourt and his son, Pierre-Jacques Bergeret de Grancourt. In September 1774, he returned through Vienna, Dresden and Strasbourg. Back in Paris Marguerite Gérard, his wife's 14-year-old sister, became his pupil and assistant in 1778. In 1780, he had a son, Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard, who became a talented painter and sculptor.
The French Revolution deprived Fragonard of his private patrons: they were either guillotined or exiled. The neglected painter deemed it prudent to leave Paris in 1790 and found shelter in the house of his cousin Alexandre Maubert at Grasse, which he decorated with the series of decorative panels known as the Les progrès de l'amour dans le cœur d'une jeune fille painted for Château du Barry. Fragonard returned to Paris early in the nineteenth century, where he died in 1806 completely forgotten. For half a century or more he was so ignored that Wilhelm Lübke's 1873 art history volume omits the mention of his name. Subsequent reevaluation has confirmed his position among the all-time masters of French painting; the influence of Fragonard's handling of local colour and expressive, confident brushstroke on the Impressionists cannot be overestimated. Fragonard's paintings, alongside those of François Boucher, seem to sum up an era. One of Fragonard's most renowned paintings is The Swing known as The Happy Accidents of the Swing, an oil painting in the Wallace Collection in London.
It is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the rococo era, is Fragonard's best known work. The painting portrays a young gentleman concealed in the bushes, observing a lady on swing being pushed by her spouse, standing in the background, hidden in the shadows, as he is unaware of the affair; as the lady swings forward, the young man gets a glimpse under her dress. According to Charles Collé's memoirs a young nobleman had requested this portrait of his mistress seated on a swing, he asked first Gabriel François Doyen
A pastel is an art medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all colored art media, including oil paints; the color effect of pastels is closer to the natural dry pigments than that of any other process. Pastels have been used by artists since the Renaissance, gained considerable popularity in the 18th century, when a number of notable artists made pastel their primary medium. An artwork made using pastels is called a pastel. Pastel used. Pastel sticks or crayons consist of pure powdered pigment combined with a binder; the exact composition and characteristics of an individual pastel stick depends on the type of pastel and the type and amount of binder used. It varies by individual manufacturer. Dry pastels have used binders such as gum arabic and gum tragacanth. Methyl cellulose was introduced as a binder in the twentieth century. A chalk or gypsum component is present, they are available in varying degrees of the softer varieties being wrapped in paper.
Some pastel brands use pumice in the binder to create more tooth. Dry pastel media can be subdivided as follows: Soft pastels: This is the most used form of pastel; the sticks have a higher portion of less binder, resulting in brighter colors. The drawing can be smudged and blended, but it results in a higher proportion of dust. Finished drawings made with soft pastels require protecting, either framing under glass or spraying with a fixative to prevent smudging. White chalk may be used as a filler in producing bright hues with greater luminosity. Pan pastels: These are formulated with a minimum of binder in flat compacts and applied with special Soft micropore sponge tools. No liquid is involved. A 21st-century invention, pan pastels can be used for the entire painting or in combination with soft and hard sticks. Hard pastels: These have a higher portion of binder and less pigment, producing a sharp drawing material, useful for fine details; these can be used with other pastels for adding accents.
Hard pastels are traditionally used to create the preliminary sketching out of a composition. However, the colors are less brilliant and are available in a restricted range in contrast to soft pastels. Pastel pencils: These are pencils with a pastel lead, they are useful for adding fine details. In addition, pastels using a different approach to manufacture have been developed: Oil pastels: These have a soft, buttery consistency and intense colors, they are dense and fill the grain of paper and are more difficult to blend than soft pastels, but do not require a fixative. They may be spread across the work surface by thinning with turpentine. Water-soluble pastels: These are similar to soft pastels, but contain a water-soluble component, such as Polyethylene glycol; this allows the colors to be thinned out to an semi-transparent consistency using a water wash. Water-soluble pastels are made in a restricted range of hues in strong colors, they have the advantages of enabling easy blending and mixing of the hues, given their fluidity, as well as allowing a range of color tint effects depending upon the amount of water applied with a brush to the working surface.
There has been some debate within art societies as to what counts as a pastel. The Pastel Society within the UK states the following are acceptable media for its exhibitions: "Pastels, including Oil pastel, Pencil, Conté, Sanguine, or any dry media"; the emphasis appears to be on "dry media" but the debate continues. In order to create hard and soft pastels, pigments are ground into a paste with water and a gum binder and rolled or pressed into sticks; the name "pastel" comes from Medieval Latin pastellum, woad paste, from Late Latin pastellus, paste. The French word pastel first appeared in 1662. Most brands produce gradations of a color, the original pigment of which tends to be dark, from pure pigment to near-white by mixing in differing quantities of chalk; this mixing of pigments with chalks is the origin of the word "pastel" in reference to "pale color" as it is used in cosmetic and fashion venues. A pastel is made by letting the sticks move over an abrasive ground, leaving color on the grain of the paper, canvas etc.
When covered with pastel, the work is called a pastel painting. Pastel paintings, being made with a medium that has the highest pigment concentration of all, reflect light without darkening refraction, allowing for saturated colors. Pastel supports need to provide a "tooth" for the pastel to hold the pigment in place. Supports include: laid paper abrasive supports velour paper suitable for use with soft pastels is a composite of synthetic fibers attached to acid-free backing Pastels can be used to produce a permanent work of art if the artist meets appropriate archival considerations; this means: Only pastels with lightfast pigments are used. As it is not protected by a binder the pigment in pastels is vulnerable to light. Pastel paintings made with pigments that change color or tone when exposed to light suffer comparable problems to gouache paintings using the same pigments. Works are done on an acid free archi
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was a French landscape and portrait painter as well as a printmaker in etching. He is a pivotal figure in landscape painting and his vast output references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was born in Paris on July 16, 1796, in a house at 125 Rue du Bac, now demolished, his family were bourgeois people—his father was a wigmaker and his mother a milliner—and unlike the experience of some of his artistic colleagues, throughout his life he never felt the want of money, as his parents made good investments and ran their businesses well. After his parents married, they bought the millinery shop where his mother had worked and his father gave up his career as a wigmaker to run the business side of the shop; the store was a famous destination for fashionable Parisians and earned the family an excellent income. Corot was the second of three children born to the family, who lived above their shop during those years.
Corot received a scholarship to study at the Lycée Pierre-Corneille in Rouen, but left after having scholastic difficulties and entered a boarding school. He "was not a brilliant student, throughout his entire school career he did not get a single nomination for a prize, not for the drawing classes." Unlike many masters who demonstrated early talent and inclinations toward art, before 1815 Corot showed no such interest. During those years he lived with the Sennegon family, whose patriarch was a friend of Corot's father and who spent much time with young Corot on nature walks, it was in this region. At nineteen, Corot was a "big child and awkward, he blushed. Before the beautiful ladies who frequented his mother's salon, he was embarrassed and fled like a wild thing... He was an affectionate and well-behaved son, who adored his mother and trembled when his father spoke." When Corot's parents moved into a new residence in 1817, the 21-year-old Corot moved into the dormer-windowed room on the third floor, which became his first studio as well.
With his father's help Corot apprenticed to a draper, but he hated commercial life and despised what he called "business tricks", yet he faithfully remained in the trade until he was 26, when his father consented to his adopting the profession of art. Corot stated, "I told my father that business and I were incompatible, that I was getting a divorce." The business experience proved beneficial, however, by helping him develop an aesthetic sense through his exposure to the colors and textures of the fabrics. Out of boredom, he turned to oil painting around 1821 and began with landscapes. Starting in 1822 after the death of his sister, Corot began receiving a yearly allowance of 1500 francs which adequately financed his new career, studio and travel for the rest of his life, he rented a studio on quai Voltaire. During the period when Corot acquired the means to devote himself to art, landscape painting was on the upswing and divided into two camps: one―historical landscape by Neoclassicists in Southern Europe representing idealized views of real and fancied sites peopled with ancient and biblical figures.
In both approaches, landscape artists would begin with outdoor sketching and preliminary painting, with finishing work done indoors. Influential upon French landscape artists in the early 19th century was the work of Englishmen John Constable and J. M. W. Turner, who reinforced the trend in favor of Realism and away from Neoclassicism. For a short period between 1821 and 1822, Corot studied with Achille Etna Michallon, a landscape painter of Corot's age, a protégé of the painter Jacques-Louis David and, a well-respected teacher. Michallon had a great influence on Corot's career. Corot's drawing lessons included tracing lithographs, copying three-dimensional forms, making landscape sketches and paintings outdoors in the forests of Fontainebleau, the seaports along Normandy, the villages west of Paris such as Ville-d'Avray. Michallon exposed him to the principles of the French Neoclassic tradition, as espoused in the famous treatise of theorist Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, exemplified in the works of French Neoclassicists Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin, whose major aim was the representation of ideal Beauty in nature, linked with events in ancient times.
Though this school was on the decline, it still held sway in the Salon, the foremost art exhibition in France attended by thousands at each event. Corot stated, "I made my first landscape from nature...under the eye of this painter, whose only advice was to render with the greatest scrupulousness everything I saw before me. The lesson worked. After Michallon's early death in 1822, Corot studied with Michallon's teacher, Jean-Victor Bertin, among the best known Neoclassic landscape painters in France, who had Corot draw copies of lithographs of botanical subjects to learn precise organic forms. Though holding Neoclassicists in the highest regard, Corot did not limit his training to their tradition of allegory set in imagined nature, his notebooks reveal precise renderings of tree trunks and plants which show the influence of Northern realism. Throughout his career, Corot demonstrated an inclination to apply both traditions in his work, sometimes combining the
A modello, from Italian, is a preparatory study or model at a smaller scale, for a work of art or architecture one produced for the approval of the commissioning patron. The term gained currency in art circles in Tuscany in the fourteenth century. Modern definitions in reference works vary somewhat. Alternative and overlapping terms are "oil sketch" and "cartoon" for paintings or stained glass, plastico or bozzetto for sculpture or architecture, or architectural model. Though in Gothic figural arts bishops and abbots are represented carrying small simulacra of buildings they had constructed—"models" in the familiar modern sense—modello is only used of pieces which pre-date the finished work, were at least in part produced by the main artist involved; the less found term ricordo means a similar piece produced as a small copy after completion of the work as a record for the workshop. It is not always easy for art historians to decide whether a particular piece is one or the other, in the Late Renaissance and Baroque periods, when several versions of a painting were made, the ricordo for the prime version might serve in the atelier as the modello for the subsequent ones.
No doubt a modello was modified after the main work was completed to reflect any changes in the composition during painting, thus making it a ricordo also. The Tiepolo at right was catalogued as a modello by Michael Levey, but recent x-ray investigation of the huge finished work in Munich has revealed that in its underpainting it was closer to another different and less finished modello, now in the Courtauld Institute, it has been asserted that the National Gallery picture illustrated is a ricordo; the National Gallery still describe it as "probably a modello" produced after work had begun. "Cartoon", named for the sturdy cartone paper on which they were executed, is used of working drawings at full scale, but the distinction is not a firm one, the terms cartoon and working drawing are used interchangeably. Modello is used of older Italian art and architecture from the late Middle Ages onwards; the diminutive term modeletto will always be used of small-scale versions. As an Italian word, modello may be printed in italics, or not.
The French version of the word, modèle, may be used of French works, is italicised. In the case of oil sketches, many modelli are valued in their own right, as they may show a freedom in execution and freshness of inspiration missing in the final work, may show changes in composition from the finished work, throwing light on the process of artistic creation. Earlier stages of the creative process may be recorded in "preparatory drawings" or "studies", either for the whole composition, or a part of it, such as a single figure. An example of a modello of a fresco cycle, rescued for its intrinsic value is in Giorgio Vasari's vita of Rosso Fiorentino: Vasari reports that a modello for Rosso's frescoes in Santa Maria delle Lagrime, was carried out by Rosso for Giovanni Pollastra, the inventor of the complex program there, "un bellisimo modello di tutto l'opera, che è oggi nelle nostre case di Arezzo." A preliminary modello colorito in the form of a painted three-dimensional model was important to prejudge the finished effect of illusionistic sotto-in-su perspectives on the curved surfaces of vaulted ceilings, as Andrea Pozzo, the perfector of the illusionistic ceiling, noted in his Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum Many modelli show versions of works which were never realised, or have been lost.
Famous examples are the alternative designs produced for the competition in 1401 to design the North doors of the Florence Baptistry. Lorenzo Ghiberti won, beating six other artists, including Filippo Brunelleschi and Jacopo della Quercia. There are alternative, modelli for many famous buildings, including St Peter's, Rome and the "Great Model" of St Paul's Cathedral, showing a different design by Sir Christopher Wren from that built; when accepted, such models were retained during the work, as concrete expressions of what was expected under the terms of the contract, afterwards were preserved in storage through salutary neglect. Pentimento