Cover image for From drawing to painting : Poussin, Watteau, Fragonard, David & Ingres
From drawing to painting : Poussin, Watteau, Fragonard, David & Ingres
Rosenberg, Pierre.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xi, 244 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm.
Format :


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NC246 .R673 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
NC246 .R673 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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Pierre Rosenberg, the distinguished art historian and director of the Musée du Louvre, has long admired and studied both paintings and drawings. This dual interest may seem commonplace but is in fact highly unusual: specialists in the field of drawing rarely write about painting, and vice versa. From Drawing to Painting offers a unique perspective by interweaving biographical information about five renowned French artists--Nicolas Poussin, Antoine Watteau, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Jacques-Louis David, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres--with a fascinating look at dozens of their drawings and the links that they have to their paintings. Presenting over 260 illustrations, this book explores drawing as a site of reflection, the space between the idea of a painted image and its realization on canvas.

How, why, and for whom did these artists draw? What value did they place on their drawings? How did their drawings get handed down to us? In what way do they enable us better to understand the artists' intentions, their creative processes, and to penetrate their worlds? Rosenberg determines that each artist approached drawing in a distinctive way, reflecting his individual training, work habits, and personal ambitions. For example, Poussin viewed his drawings simply as working documents, Watteau preferred his drawings to his paintings, and Fragonard made a lucrative business selling his graphic work. For David and Ingres, drawing had a considerable pedagogical function, whether in copying the great works of their predecessors or in sharpening their own techniques.

Originally delivered as a series of Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., From Drawing to Painting gives the reader an unprecedented view of the artistic process. This richly illustrated book will make an important and beautiful addition to any art library.

Author Notes

Pierre Rosenberg has been president and director of the Musée du Louvre since 1994. A member of the Académie française, he has published extensively on painting and drawing of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and has organized numerous exhibitions throughout the world. In collaboration with Louis-Antoine Prat, he has published catalogues raisonnés of the drawings of Poussin and Watteau and is undertaking similar publications for Fragonard, David, and Ingres.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Drawing on a series of lectures given at the National Gallery of Art in 1996, Rosenberg (director, Muse du Louvre) here focuses on Poussin, Watteau, Fragonard, David, and Ingres, whom he considers the only artists between roughly 1630 and 1860 equally interested in drawing and painting. In doing so, the author shows that the drawings give us a better understanding of these artists' creative processes, as well as how, why, and for whom the artists drew. Beginning with a general introduction to the background and style of each artist's work, Rosenberg discusses what the drawings meant to each artist, who collected them, how drawing fit into the practice of the creation of paintings, and the tricky practice of attributing drawings. Generally, the author does a good job of relating all of this information, although for the most part, the focus is on drawing rather than painting. Most disappointing for a book so object-oriented in its discussion is the absence of color reproductions. Recommended for art libraries and academic libraries that support art history programs.DSandra Rothenberg, Framingham State Coll., MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The very prestigious Mellon lectures were given in 1996 by director of the Louvre Rosenberg, and this wonderful, charming, and witty book is the result. It is to be regretted that the only color illustration is on the paper cover; otherwise there is nothing to fault. The five eminent but not overworked artists, the core of Rosenberg's distinguished career as scholar, happily have been studied ensemble: the material is treated thematically, with each artist brought into each chapter. The artists come alive as practitioners and as people; even their copyists put in notable appearances. Difficult topics such as the nature of attribution, the definition of erotic in art, value, the market, and the relationship between drawing and either painting or printmaking, all are treated deftly but not facilely. The scholarship is personable and engaging, yet unobtrusive. A book for everyone, and a model of the unity, and expansiveness, of the art historical enterprise. All levels. P. Emison; University of New Hampshire

Table of Contents

Preface Introductionp. ix
Chapter 1 Five Exceptional Artistsp. 2
Chapter 2 The Drawings: Their Histories, Techniques, and Themesp. 26
Chapter 3 Practice and Ideap. 66
Chapter 4 On the Attribution and Dating of the Drawingsp. 96
Chapter 5 Drawing and Moneyp. 144
Chapter 6 Drawing and Designp. 176
Notesp. 211
Selected Bibliographyp. 234
Indexp. 238