Saturday, July 7, 2007

Head Study #14



I haven't put up anything sketchwise in a while, so I thought that I would. About a year ago, I started to do some head studies to practice doing facial structure and all that good stuff. All were and are done with reference, of course, and I started with some celebrities, such as David Lynch, but mostly they were done after paintings and sculptures that interested me. I haven't done as many as I would have liked, like one a day or something, not one a month like I've been doing.

This one was done after Gianlorenzo Bernini's The Blessed Ludovica Albertoni, 1671-1674, marble. I've always found it interesting how artists of the past depicted eroticism through religious ecstacy. I know Michelangelo had a few tricks up his sleeve on the matter. When we were in Italy, I got my introduction to Bernini's sculptures, as they were everywhere. The Baroque master quickly became one of my favorite artists, as some of the works that he did for some of the Popes tombs in St. Peters are just amazing. And the way the he handled fabric and draping cloth is mind boggling

6 comments:

Ana Banana said...

This is a very good sketch, Bruce...you've capture the expression and I like how you've cropped the image. Very nice negative and positive shapes. It looks a little macabre...ghostly, as if a spirit of the dead...which I like...makes it look very mysterious. I'm not familiar with the sculpture, but I do love Bernini's work...his architecture and his sculpture is my favorite, moreso than Michelangelo's -- the Ecstasy of Saint Theresa is one of my favorite sculptures of all time. And you are correct, it does seem that the religious art of the time is very erotic in nature. It seems ecstasy is more excepted in art when it is in the name of religion.

Anyway, I enjoy seeing your sketches. I think I need to do more...maybe next post I will get out the pencil and paper...

Jacqueline Hudon said...

Nice sketch.

ThanKwee-Anajo said...

Very good sketch. So many people when they do a head study don't take into consideration the shape of the skull. I like how you have depicted the eye sockets, which is another aspect of the face that many artists fail to take into account. And that little hint of color, not too much, captures the warm and cool lights. Good contrast of values too. Very nicely done.

Thank goodness that artists today are not so limited to just depictions of religious subjects and we don't have to sneak in other ideas via the vehicle of religion.

In the original sculpture she is holding her breast as a representation of her ecstasy. Strange stuff, the old religious ideas. Heck, strange stuff, the modern religious ideas.

Which brings to mind Michelangelo's Last Judgment frescos in the Sistine Chapel. The nude figures upset some cardinal and some of the nudity was painted over.

Hmmmm, seems that not that much has changed since then here in the U.S., the latest controversy being Cosimo Cavallaro's My Sweet Lord. Guess that Jesus isn't supposed to have had a penis, lol..

Bruce said...

Hey Ana, you should google the image, it's a wonderful sculpture and if you like The Ecstacy Of St. Teresa, you'll probably like this one too. I feel the same about liking Bernini over Michelangelo, although Rodin is still tops for me, as far as sculptors go. Like I said before, Michelangelo had his ways of getting around the prudence of the church when he wanted to portray nudity or something erotic. he would use Greek or Roman mythology as his subjects as it was harder to question. Actually, a lot of artists did this.

I'll be looking forward to those pencil sketches of yours!

Jacqueline: Why, thank you.

Anajo: Actually, I thought that the face came out a little lopsided, but hey, if you think so...!

I agree with you about past artists and their depictions of religion, but I always thought how creative they were when they went around all of that. And how they went around all of that, for that matter.

When we were in Italy, they had just about finished cleaning the Sistine Chapel and the tour guide from the Vatican talked about all of that in detail. It was great to see first hand.

What?!! Jesus had a penis?!! Unheard of!

dintoons said...

wow, pretty intense drawing here, bruce... and though you've rendered it after one of the rennaissance masters, it seems to have a dali-esque look to it...like the melting timepiece painting?
love the way you've captured those elusive expressions of divine love, longing, spiritual ecstacy and fulfilment... and all this simply through raw pencil strokes... brilliant! :o)

Bruce said...

Hey Dinesh,
Yeah, I guess there will always be a little bit of Dali in me, as he's one of my favorite artists and it's interesting that you see that in here. She does seem to portray a melting quality...