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:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Have you visited the two main classical art schools in London? The London Academy of Realist Art (LARA at and the Both derived from the Italian schools, and deservedly very popular.

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