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Picturing a World

Painting from the same motif

It was not uncommon for 19th C artists to sketch or paint together from the same motif. Think of Renoir and Monet, Pissarro and Cézanne … or John Singer Sargent and the American illustrator Edwin Austin Abbey. I read about Sargent and Abbey at the same time I was reading about the Red Rose Girls because I was interested in both artistic friendships and illustration as a viable commercial career for trained artists.

Today’s image and topic come from a Gurney Journey post, where you can see Sargent’s depiction of the lay figure for what it is, a manikin. A topic I’d like to explore in a sequel about Jeanette is how a good illustrator’s imagination is unleashed artistically by stories or, conversely, how vividly imagined scenes may lead an artist like Gurney to tell stories that account for images seen in the mind’s eye.
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