Today we went to the Louvre exhibit at the High Museum. It was the first time we’ve been to the High since they’ve added the new buildings, which is bad of us. Very spectacular spaces, indeed.
As usual when faced with the products of Versailles/Louvre, I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of commitment represented: talent, work hours, materials. The amount of money involved, I suspect, was not as vast as you might think, because the artists and artisans who created these things were not well paid, except for the stars.
The first floor gallery was devoted to drawings from the kings’ collections. Drawing was not the art form it became later, because it’s a personal art form, just the artist and the pencil, then just the viewer and the paper. Most of these drawings were sketches or studies for more public works: portraits, murals, etc.
The thing that fascinated me most about these works was the draftsmanship. Unlike many recent works on paper, these drawings were not about the surface of the paper. You rarely thought about the line qua line, or masses of color vis Ã¡ vis the edge of the surface. Instead, you see a shoulder, a chest, a calf, a face, and you truly have to force yourself to see lines of chalk at all. And I tried. I tried to reduce the drawing to chalk-on-paper, but I couldn’t. I tried to see areas of light and dark, but all I could see was perfectly formed musculature. This never ceases to amaze me.
It also reminded me that I must create a visual for Wednesday night’s workshop, some moment from Sun & Moon Circus.