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Great drawing artists of the past

Great drawing artists of the past include Leonardo da Vinci, Durer, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens and Cezanne, among other artists but to me these were the greatest artists of all time. They understood drawing no matter what they drew, whether it was a tree, a figure or a scene, they paved the way for all up and coming artists through the way they depicted form, chiaroscuro and line.


Great drawing artists of the pastLeonardo da Vinci
Trained as an artist during the Renaissance and became a true master of his craft. His amazing powers of observation and skill as an illustrator enabled him to notice and recreate the effects he saw in nature, and added a special liveliness to his portraits. Curious as well as observant, he constantly tried to explain what he saw and described many experiments to test his ideas. Because he wrote down and sketched so many of his observations in his notebooks, we know that he was among the very first to take a scientific approach towards understanding how our world works and how we see it. See Leonardo Da Vinci drawings

Great drawing artists of the pastDurer
He painted the first self portraits in the history of art starting with a pencil sketch when he was 13 years old and he drew the first landscapes from life but previously these landscape drawings were mere inventions used as backgrounds for his portraits. His creative and intellectual powers along with his prodigious belief in his own talents permitted him to cast a new mold for the artist, a mold which represented a watershed in the history of civilization and to which artists are still indebted today. See Durer drawings


Great drawing artists of the pastMichelangelo
His artistic talent revealed itself early in his life, often to his family's dismay. His precocious drawings would occasionally elicit beatings from his father who wished to persuade the youth to follow a more honourable and lucrative profession than that of an artist. Fortunately, Michelangelo's stubborn refusal to abandon his talent persuaded his father to apprentice him to a Florentine artist at age fourteen. Mankind was awarded a creative talent whose genius was recognized not only in his own time, but in the generations to follow. See Michelangelo drawings


Great drawing artists of the pastRaphael
He was one of the finest draftsmen in the history of Western art, and used drawings extensively to plan his compositions. According to a near-contemporary, when beginning to plan a composition, he would lay out a large number of stock drawings of his on the floor, and begin to draw "rapidly", borrowing figures from here and there. Over forty sketches survive for the Disputa in the Stanze, and there may well have been many more originally; over four hundred sheets survive altogether. See Raphael drawings


Great drawing artists of the pastRembrandt
More than 150 drawings mostly illustrated in colour made during every phase of his activity are divided by subject into sixteen chapters: Self-portraits; Religious Subjects; Landscapes and so forth. Rembrandt himself kept many of his own drawings of different subjects in separate portfolios and books, so grouping his drawings by subject clarifies Rembrandt’s astonishing range as a draughtsman. See Rembrandt drawings


Great drawing artists of the pastRubens
In addition to his talents as a painter, Rubens was also an equally gifted draftsman. And while his paintings are indeed rewarding for the viewer, his drawings are engaging as well as imaginative. His drawings served several important purposes: preliminary studies for commissioned paintings, prints, or personal sketches of immediate family members. See Rubens drawings


Great drawing artists of the pastCezanne
Studied drawing at 15 years old at the local drawing academy, then at the proper time entered law school. He eventually convinced his father to allow him to go to Paris to paint where he attended sessions with a live model. He showed no particular aptitude for drawing up to this point. At this time at the academies in Europe, art in general, and drawing in particular were taught with much academicism, which means that strict rules were followed with regard to anatomical accuracy and the proper means of instruction. From the start Cezanne did not fit into this mold. See Cezanne drawings

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