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Re: Tracing and Thomas Eakins


From: Mark Alexander (markcalexander_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Nov 28 2001 - 09:29:59 PST

 I haven't seen David Hockney's "Secret Knowledge," but this past Sunday there was a New York Times article about a recent discovery that Thomas Eakins secretly used photographs much more than just for an occasional referance. Everyone knew that he would use photos to document gross anatomy, help paint figures in a landscape or for accurate portraiture, but this article shows us that he actually copied photographic composition and changed virtually nothing from the photograph in his final paintings. The beautiful seascape, "Shad Fishing at Gloucester, Deleware," actually began as a photograph. I'll look into it more, if anyone is interested. Let me know.
  Donald Peters <> wrote: In the December Discover magazine their is a review of a new book by David
Hockney called "Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the
Old Masters"

Did anybody else see this? Basically it talks about how Jan Vermeer used a
camera obscura to draw his images and Ingres used a camera lucida. Also, it
speculates that concave mirrors were being used as far back as the 15th
century by artists like Jan Van Eyck and Lorenzo Lotto to capture details
for portraiture and difficult patterns and designs in cloth.

The article focused on Lorenzo Lottos "Husband and Wife".... specifically
the patterned table cloth, pointing out the different vanishing points in
the cloth and speculating that this happened as the artist had to reposition
his mirror to get different parts of the cloth in focus and it threw of his

Really interesting, makes me want to purchase this book.

Donald Peters
Lubbock, Texas

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