From Drawing to Painting
Poussin, Watteau, Fragonard, David, and Ingres
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.
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.