Your line is not a line

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Your line is not a line

From Mark Strutt

Published before 2005


[..] I went to a show at the Art Gallery of Ontario last year or so called, Raphael and his Circle (Drawings from Windsor Castle). This exhibit was the precursors to and then Raphael Giovanni Santi, Pietro Perugino, Girolamo Genga, along with Giulio Romano, Perino del Vaga and Polidoro da Caravaggio.

It was interesting to see how small these drawings are. Amazing, the fine lines in red chalk, a chalk that has been fished out now. [..]

One drawing that stands out in my mind I will never forget was very small: The heads of Homer, Dante and another poet, pen and iron-gall ink. Every line is perfect to the contour done with the rapidity (speed) of calligraphy and like calligraphy. A line would move along in one direction and without stopping turn and move back without lifting. The next line would do likewise as it crossed over the first set. I put my nose up to the drawing for a very long time to try to burn it into my head. The thing that impressed me was how fast his line moved. Those lines could only have been done at a high speed as they never waver in the slightest.

I was also entranced with Del Vaga and Caravaggio. A drawing by Caravaggio called Autumn done in charcoal underdrawing; pen and iron-gall ink Very nice, very beautiful lines. Very nice flare with the ink.

Mark