As in the case of "The Bases of Design," to which this is intended to form a companion volume, the substance of the following chapters on Line and Form originally formed a series of lectures delivered to the students of the Manchester Municipal School of Art.
There is no pretension to an exhaustive treatment of a subject it would be difficult enough to exhaust, and it is dealt with in a way intended to bear rather upon the practical work of an art school, and to be suggestive and helpful to those face to face with the current problems of drawing and design.
MODERN scientific publications, although they may in some or even many cases equal in their scientific quality the memoirs of earlier workers, do not, on the average, reach a high standard as regards illustration. For instance, in Great Britain botany is pre-eminent in its morphological aspects; it should therefore follow that the illustrations, which form so important a part of such papers, should be beyond reproach. This is not always so, a fact which must be patent to anyone with the slightest critical knowledge who looks through a typical journal. This is a fact much to be regretted, since many of the earlier scientists were accomplished draughtsmen and, indeed, often artists; in this connection the Hookers and Pro-fessor Daniel Oliver may be mentioned. The implication is not intended that there are no good amateur draughtsmen nowadays; there are, and in some cases pos-sessed of great ability. The beautiful work of Church in his Floral Mechanisms may be cited as an example.More info →
Art, with its finite means, cannot hope to record the infinite variety and complexity of Nature, and so contents itself with a partial statement, addressing this to the imagination for the full and perfect meaning. This inadequation, and the artificial adjustments which it involves, are tolerated by right of what is known as artistic convention; and as each art has its own particular limitations, so each has its own particular conventions. Sculpture reproduces the forms of Nature, but discards the color without any shock to our ideas of verity; Painting gives us the color, but not the third dimension, and we are satisfied; and Architecture ispurely conventional, since it does not even aim at the imitation of natural form.More info →
(A Complete Treatise on the Principle and Technique Necessary to the Painting)
Books of instruction in the practice of painting have rarely been successful. Chiefly because they have been too narrow in their point of view, and have dealt more with recipes than with principles. It is not possible to give any one manner of painting that shall be right for all men and all subjects. To say "do thus and so" will not teach any one to paint. But there are certain principles which underlie all painting, and all schools of painting; and to state clearly the most important of these will surely be helpful, and may accomplish something.More info →
["The Elements of Drawing" was written during the winter of 1856. The First Edition was published in 1857; the Second followed in the same year, with some additions and slight alterations. The Third Edition consisted of sixth thousand, 1859; seventh thousand, 1860; and eighth thousand, 1861.
The work was partly reproduced in "Our Sketching Club," by the Rev. R. St. John Tyrwhitt, M.A., 1874; with new editions in 1875, 1882, and 1886.
Mr. Ruskin meant, during his tenure of the Slade Professorship at Oxford, to recast his teaching, and to write a systematic manual for the use of his Drawing School, under the title of "The Laws of Fésole." Of this only vol. i. was completed, 1879; second edition, 1882.
As, therefore, "The Elements of Drawing" has never been completely superseded, and as many readers of Mr. Ruskin's works have expressed a desire to possess the book in its old form, it is now reprinted as it stood in 1859.]
Leonardo's views of aesthetic are all important in his philosophy of life and art. The worker's thoughts on his craft are always of interest. They are doubly so when there is in them no trace of literary self-consciousness to blemish their expression. He recorded these thoughts at the instant of their birth, for a constant habit of observation and analysis had early developed with him into a second nature. His ideas were penned in the same fragmentary way as they presented themselves to his mind, perhaps with no intention of publishing them to the world. But his ideal of art depended intimately, none the less, on the system he had thrown out seemingly in so haphazard a manner.More info →
Permit me in the first place to anticipate the disappointment of any student who opens this book with the idea of finding "wrinkles" on how to draw faces, trees, clouds, or what not, short cuts to excellence in drawing, or any of the tricks so popular with the drawing masters of our grandmothers and still dearly loved by a large number of people. No good can come of such methods, for there are no short cuts to excellence. But help of a very practical kind it is the aim of the following pages to give; although it may be necessary to make a greater call upon the intelligence of the student than these Victorian methods attempted.More info →
"SKETCHES BY SEYMOUR" was published in various versions about 1836. The copy used for this Edition has no date and was published by Thomas Fry, London. Some of the 90 plates note only Seymour's name, many are inscribed "Engravings by H. Wallis from sketches by Seymour." The printed book appears to be a compilation of five smaller volumes. From the confused chapter titles the reader may well suspect the printer mixed up the order of the chapters.
The complete book in this paperback edition is split into five smaller Volumes “The individual volumes are of more manageable size than the 90 Chapter” complete version.
IT is much easier to understand and remember a thing when a reason is given for it, than when we are merely shown how to do it without being told why it is so done; for in the latter case, instead of being assisted by reason, our real help in all study, we have to rely upon memory or our power of imitation, and to do simply as we are told without thinking about it. The consequence is that at the very first difficulty we are left to flounder about in the dark, or to remain inactive till the master comes to our assistance.
Now in this book it is proposed to enlist the reasoning faculty from the very first: to let one problem grow out of another and to be dependent on the foregoing, as in geometry, and so to explain each thing we do that there shall be no doubt in the mind as to the correctness of the proceeding. The student will thus gain the power of finding out any new problem for himself, and will therefore acquire a true knowledge of perspective.
George Adolphus Storey
In this extented version of the Durer Art & Life Book, Preface as thoroughly versed in all matters connected with Durer and his art, acting as the author's friend, and so to say his representative, has been kind enough to read through the proof-sheets of the translation, and make some very valuable suggestions and amendments.
All the illustrations contained in the German edition, including the initial letters and tail-pieces, have been inserted, and a few others added. Especial care has been taken to render the Index worthy of so important a work.
In addition to the General Index, a special one has been prepared in which, under separate headings, will be found lists of all Dürer's pictures, water-colours, drawings, engravings, woodcuts, writings, and miscellaneous productions described or referred to in the course of the following pages.
No exhaustive and critical account of the life and works of Albert Durer has hitherto been placed before the English reading public.