British museum study visit.

Cambiaso. L(1597) The Marriage of the Virgin, [Pen and brown ink, brown wash, black chalk, squared in red chalk for transfer]. The British Museum. London

Kollwitz. K(1938) Studies of the back of a right hand [Grey crayon and felt tip pen] The British Museum. London

In December I attended an OCA study visit to the British Museum to view some sketches of work in progress.

The building is an impressive place to house and view these works, solid dark, warm wood cabinets, a gallery floor and atrium windows to keep the light in give an immense feel, before you get to within an inch of the Michealangelo sketch, however, his work did not capture my interest as much as others. His overemphasis of muscles that quite possibly don’t exist complicates his work for me.

I was taken by a preparatory work by Luca Cambiaso in pen and brown in and red chalk. (my version in pencil the only medium you are allowed to use in the room)


His use of blocked figurines to model his people from gave his sketch a feel of a much more contemporary piece than the creation date of 1567 suggests. Apparently he was one of the first artists to sell his preparatory work as well as the final paintings and looking at this figurative study I can understand why. His understanding of fabric drapery and form gives his people a suggestion of emotion even though there is no expression and scant detail. Mary’s bowed head and Joseph’s lowered position in front of the person conduction the ceremony still manage convey the options of embarrassment of standing in front of everyone saying the marriage vows-awe of the religious moment- man/woman in front of friends and relatives celebrating everything a wedding leads too.

Even the shape of the priest’s(?) headwear strikes me as a middle of the last century depiction over something 500+ years old. I enjoyed the shading simplicity in the blocks with the emphasised important lines with the most information on the weight bearing limbs.

I also looked at Kathe Kollwitz’s sketch of her own hand in felt pen and crayon. it was a sketching style I am drawn to, as accurate and imperfect.its not single line graphic


over observed sketched, the detail is in the hand, where your focus should be over the fact there is a shadow but it has less detail and is less important. I appreciate that.

Overall the trip gave me a chance to connect with 2 artists I had not heard of before which was useful.

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