Thursday, 20 March 2014

83. Gallery Sketches: Pesellino and Fra Lippi

Sketch of The Pistoia Santa Trinita Altarpiece by
Francesco Pesellino and Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop,
Mars Lumograph 100 and Coloursoft pencils in A4 sketchbook

Initial sketches

Two weeks ago, I went to a talk on this lovely painting in Room 54 of the National. There were 40 seats set out for whoever wanted to come along. I had taken my own materials but all materials, including a drawing board, had been provided. There was a huge box of coloured pencils, enough so that the gentleman beside me had about 10 sticking out through his fingers!

We started with a 10' talk on the piece by a woman from one of the auction houses (shame, I've forgotten which one) and she also spoke to us about the little paintings included in the predella below the main image. Then a nice, enthusiastic artist called Mark guided us in what we should take into consideration when doing our sketches. He reminded us that the frame is important too as it's part of the whole image and he asked us to use colour to show how the fabric fell around the figures.

In my art history studies, I learned that this type of image is called a sacra conversazione (a 'sacred conversation') as characters from different times in history are grouped around the holy family. The figures I did in colour were St Jerome (347-420AD), the Bishop of Pistoia (15C) and an angel (timeless).

When the hour was up, Mark asked us to lay out our sketches so we could see how each person had interpreted the piece. There was some really lovely work and it initiated some great conversation while we packed away. Highly recommended.

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