The statement that “good artists copy; great artists steal” has been attributed to many. History is replete with examples of both sides, and not just in art but also in other fields. Is the assertion true? The answer, I think, depends upon both the reason for the copy and how well it was done. Let’s avoid the controversy and look at some old masters copying older masters.
All the Articles on the Site
Here is an ever-growing collection of articles related to the Sight-Size approach, as well as some digressions. Many of these articles expand on the lessons I teach my own students. Others are of more historical interest. And yes, many contain promotional content to my free guide, books, and online courses. You can learn how to see accurately so that you can successfully draw what you see. Therefore, all of the content I produce is centered on helping you do that.
Gilbert Stuart was one of America’s great portrait painters. This self portrait was done while Stuart was in England, studying with another American ex-patriot painter, Benjamin West.
Sir Gerald Festus Kelly was born in London in 1879. He was educated at Eton College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. In 1901, Gerald’s father, the Vicar of Camberwell, sent him to France to study painting.
Emma Nessi studied privately with Cesare Tallone, at the Brera Academy, around 1906. Not much is known about her, in English anyway, and I’d be grateful to learn of any images of her paintings, or other information.
Philip Alexius de László was an Hungarian artist, born in 1869. Although he began his career as an historical painter, he is best known for his portraiture of early twentieth-century English and American socialites. He had a bravura style of brushwork which fit well with his contemporaries (and competition), Sargent, Sorolla and Zorn.
Cesare Tallone studied at the Brera Academy in Milan, between 1872 and 1880. He was most well known for his portraits and he had a working friendship with Antonio Mancini.
At age 16, Charles Wellington Furse, ARA (1868-1904) became a student of Alphonse Legros at the Slade school, London. Later, he attended the Académie Julian in Paris. He was a painter of portraits and figure subjects, lecturer and writer on art.
Early on Bonnat studied in Madrid maintained a lifelong admiration for the Spanish artists Ribera and Velazquez. This admiration seems to have driven his approach to painting and teaching. In a preface for a biography on Velazquez he claimed that what Velazquez “sought before everything was character and truth.”