artist's sample booklet with pasted-in plates with images of faces and facial features, figures, feet, hands; first image is seated woman with a palette and brushes, preparing to paint in a cartouche containing the title of the book, held up by a putto; no cover; incomplete

Livre de Portraiture, 1644-c. 1700

Not on Viewexpand_more

Drawing manuals were common teaching tools for artists and amateurs learning to draw in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is a kind of pattern book for the aspiring draftsmen to study and copy, with concise prints depicting body parts—ears, eyes, hands, feet, legs—which provide step by step instruction to master drawing the human form. A series of head studies show tricks to help students learn how to determine accurate proportions, particularly when foreshortening forms, and as the book progresses, more finished figures and complex scenes are presented to guide the artists’ advancement. This model book, comprising some 50 plates, was published by the French printmaker and publisher Balthasar Moncornet and his shop. It features copies of prints after two important contemporary artists, the Italian painter Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) and the French draftsman and etcher Jacques Callot, among others. While some of the plates are rather slavish copies of these artists’ works, they testify to the high esteem and widespread influence of their work in the period.

Exhibitions
Details
Title
Livre de Portraiture
Artist Life
(Bologna), 1591–1666
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2013.51
Provenance
Roy Perkinson, Boston, Mass., bought from an antique shop at an unknown date; given to MIA, 2013
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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artist's sample booklet with pasted-in plates with images of faces and facial features, figures, feet, hands; first image is seated woman with a palette and brushes, preparing to paint in a cartouche containing the title of the book, held up by a putto; no cover; incomplete