Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Pescheria, chiaroscuro - and 100,000 visits

The Pescheria
30cm x 20cm,
pen and lightfast pigment ink and coloured pencil on Arches Hot Press
available as a print on Imagekind - click here to see a larger image

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Pescheria means 'fish market' in Italian. This drawing is of the very famous Pescheria near the Rialto in Venice. Fish has been sold from this site for the last 600 years. It's a great favourite with artists because of its very large banner like red curtains which keep the market cool on a hot day. (You can see the fish if you click on this link to my travel sketchbook blog).

I very much enjoyed doing the drawing after Whistler in my post on Whistler's Venice recently and wanted to do something similar - and add in one colour only - and this is the result.

Chiaroscuro is the theme of the 85th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Graphic Fine Art at the Menier Gallery in Southwark 11-22nd September. This is one of my interpretations of 'chiaroscuro' which I'm submitting to the exhibition.

Chiaroscuro according to my online Chambers dictionary means
chiaroscuro noun (chiaroscuros) 1 art the management of light and shade in a picture. 2 a monochrome painting.
ETYMOLOGY: 17c: Italian, meaning 'light-dark'.
However originally it had a much tighter definition and was a type of drawing on coloured paper which used white to define form.

I thought it would be interesting to track down some of the other online sources of information. By which I mean I did this some time ago - but forgot to write a post about it at the time!

Samson and Delilah, 1506
Made by Albrecht Altdorfer (German, Regensburg ca. 1480 - 1538 Regensburg)
German
Pen and dark brown ink heightened with white, on brown prepared paper; 6 11/16 x 4 3/4 in. (17.0 x 12.0 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1906 (06.1051.2)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

So - on the right is what is regarded as a fine early example of chiaroscuro drawing - and below you will find some other definitions of chiaroscuro.
Chiaroscuro drawing: A manner of drawing by which the usual drawing method of applying dark strokes over light colored paper is reversed. Instead, the composition is defined by light values, such as white gouache, over a dark ground. The etymology of the word is the combination of the two Italian words chiaro, meaning light, and scuro, the word for dark. (Unidentified German artist, 16th century, Martyrdom of St. Barbara, 1957.4).
The Glossary of the Harvard Art Museums - chiaroscuro
Chiaroscuro Woodcuts

The earliest colored woodcuts were intended to imitate the appearance of a type of drawing on colored paper known as chiaroscuro, much sought after by collectors. In these drawings, the colored paper served as the middle tone, and the artist worked toward the light (chiaro) by adding highlights with white gouache, and toward the dark (scuro) by adding crosshatching in pen or a dark wash with a brush. The chiaroscuro woodcut, invented in Germany by Hans Burgkmair around 1509, was created by printing a line block—which carried the contours and crosshatching, and could sometimes stand alone as a black and white woodcut—together with one or more tone blocks. If there were only one tone block, it would print a mid-tone that would function in the same way as the colored paper did in the drawings. Where more than one tone block was used, it was possible to suggest levels of shading, as in a wash drawing. Where the blocks had been cut away, the paper would remain unprinted, and these white areas would serve as the highlights.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Printed Image in the West - Woodcut
Chiaroscuro is a method for applying value to a two-dimensional piece of artwork to create the illusion of a three-dimensional solid form. This way of working was devised during the Italian Renaissance and was used by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. In this system, if light is coming in from one predetermined direction, then light and shadow will conform to a set of rules......(consult the entry to read the remainder

Art Studio Chalkboard
Chiaroscuro - A word borrowed from Italian ("light and shade" or "dark") referring to the modeling of volume by depicting light and shade by contrasting them boldly. This is one means of strengthening an illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface, and was an important topic among artists of the Renaissance.(pr. kee-ahr'oh-scyoo"roh)
(see the original ArtLex entry for examples)
Without chiaroscuro, digital is just a bunch of squares, non-linear is non existent and HD might as well be DV. Now more than ever, chiaroscuro plays an important part in any production.
Walter Graff
Finally, yesterday this blog topped the 100,000 visits mark!!!

I'd like to thank all the regular readers of this blog for making a very significant contribution to passing that threshold - and also to say "Hello" to all the visitors who found this blog on the front page of their browser search. I hope you'll be back!

Links:

7 comments:

Cin said...

a beauty of a sketch Katherine, love just the one spot of color.

Dave said...

Congratulations on passing that milestone! I've just got about 99,000 to go before I reach that mark. :) Lovely sketch too...no wonder people keep coming back!

Martin said...

Congratulations to the first 100K visitors.You created an outstanding blog and a terrific resource for art lovers. All the best, energy and success for many further years of "good marks". Martin

muddy red shoes said...

well done reaching your 100,000. Also on the picture, what a beauty, love the idea of adding just one colour. J'adore chiascuro, wish I had known about the exhibition, would have been tempted to enter one. Thanks for the resourse that is your blog.

Katherine said...

Thanks Cin, Dave, Martin and Sarah on your very kind words - much appreciated.

Robyn said...

Gorgeous picture of the Pescheria, Katherine! Congratulations on 100,000 - WOW! Here's to the next 100,000!

dianeclancy said...

Congratulations on this milestone!! That is great.

You have a top quality blog with great info - thank you!!

~ Diane Clancy
www.dianeclancy.com/blog

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