Sketch o’the Week

August 3rd, 2011 | Posted in Sketch O'The Week

And now for something a little different.

Several years ago The Lovey Anna and I went to Paris for our anniversary. While we were there we visited the Lourve, and I brought my sketchbook along. I did an obligatory study from a Da Vinci painting, but really got fascinated by Jacques-Louis David‘s Le Sacre de Napol?¬©on (the Coronation of Napoleon). This is a gigantic painting, 20′ a 32′, showing the coronation of Napoleon, and every single figure in it is unique and practically breathing with life and personality. Several of them were real people, including a few that weren’t actually at the ceremony, but even the “fillers” are stunning in their individuality. Many of them border on caricature in their slightly exaggerated expressiveness.

I came across these two sketches recently. The upper is from Da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks, and the lower is from the David painting. The depicted figure is Tallyrand, Napoleon’s grand chamberlain.


  1. Mike says:

    That’s a really beautiful and richly artful painting. It’s rife with history, politics, and drama.
    Great post!


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