Diary Sketching

Museum Drawing

   Year end break – some quality time at Home, with the Family, and the pleasure to spend some moments in a museum, wandering around and sketching. I already wrote, some time ago, how I like to visit old friends… London is a paradise for the Museum sketcher, and rainy afternoons always a great pretext to get lost in the old masters rooms of the National Gallery.

This time, I devoted my choice to the National Portrait Gallery. Few weeks ago, I visited the Cézanne Portrait exhibition and promised myself to visit the show again, once the rush of the first weeks was passed. Doing so, I did a round in the Gallery and got attracted by a piece by Frank Stone : a loose and sketchy portrait of William Makepeace Thackeray. I really liked the way the look of the writer was depicted, a man absorbed by his thoughts, the light shadowing the eyes, fixing an imaginary line, or who knows what saddening contemplation… This is the expression I wanted to study in this sketch.

Thackeray Sketch


   Now, how about Cézanne?

   My impression, after the second visit, was the same –  moved and humbled by the honesty of his pictural quest. Each painting seems like a battle scene – one can figurate the artist fighting with the medium, the colors, the perspectives and lines to produce a very personal harmony – each piece leading beyond the subject towards more atmospheric, abstract or poetic thoughts.

I sat there and did few sketches… More to capture a pose or an interesting face rather than trying to ‘copy’ some works. My interest was in the way the poses were arranged, or in the strength of some expressions…

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Not sure if I will have the time to return to one of the galleries or museum before the end of this break – I need to re-visit the Modigliani show! – but surely not the last post on the Museums I like or on Portraiture…