Saturday, March 14, 2015

An Education in Classical Painting

While in Belfast I met John Angel, Head of the Angel Academy of Art in Florence and a prominent portrait painter.

This is a video of John Angel introducing the three year programme of work associated with developing skills in classical painting undertaken by the students at his school. The school teaches a traditional curriculum associated with Past Masters - identified by the School as being Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Velasquez, Rembrandt, van Dyck, Lord Leighton, Alma-Tadema, Bouguereau and, more recently, Annigoni. Angel was himself taught by Annigoni and alluded to him a few times when discussing his own art education and his school.

This video is a very good overview of a number of techniques which people may be familiar with - but people may be very surprised how long his students spend on each stage of the curriculum. For example, they don't start on colour until Year 3!

Here also is a blog post by James Gurney about Academic Methods, Part 1: John Michael Angel

I had dinner with John and his delightful wife Megan on Wednesday evening (and there'll be a sketch about that later on my sketchbook blog).  Interestingly I discovered that his early education had been close to my own in Manchester - in adjacent neighbourhoods.

The School in Florence makes quite a contrast with the very modern Faculty of Art & Design and the Built Environment at Ulster University where we were doing the session for the Ulster Festival of Art & design

Faculty of Art and Design at Ulster University
PJ Lynch and John Angel in the entrance hall of the Faculty of Art & Design at Ulster University
On Thursday morning, I sat with John Angel on the same Panel for the discussion of 'Drawing Together' - which was absolutely excellent. My regards to John and all the other Panel participants: