Emma Nessi

Article by Darren Rousar. Most recently updated in April of 2020.

20130110-205634Emma Nessi

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. My info comes from this site here.

The picture above shows Emma painting a portrait in Sight-Size. Notice how the easel is straight up and down. Besides the Sight-Size aspects, the other interesting thing is the palette she’s holding. It was designed by Tallone and was apparently one of the many designs he created. This model had no thumbhole. Instead, there was a handle underneath. The handle and the wide, inside curve of the palette allowed it to be held directly in front of the artist, like the table of a child’s highchair.

Other palettes designed by Tallone did have thumbholes. They also had leather straps through which you slid your arm. The straps allowed the palette to become more of a stable extension of the painter’s arm, as compared to a traditional palette. The purpose of these large palettes was so that the artist could place a great number of colors on the outer edge, which left lots of room in the middle to cleanly mix the colors.

Recall that when Sight-Size painting the artist normally views the scene and canvas from a distance. To actually paint he has to walk forward. One reason to hold your palette is so that you can take it with you. You mix your colors as you perceive them from the viewing position. You then walk up to the canvas, with the palette, and paint. You go back, and forth, and so on. Many sitters, to artists like Raeburn and Sargent, described this process in great detail. . . but that’s for another post.

Other artists, especially those who do not paint Sight-Size, prefer to set their palette on a table and in some cases the table is the palette. This gives them a lot of room to mix. A stationary palette can be a problem for Sight-Sizers however. Tallone’s designs were attempts at creating the best of both worlds: a large, mixing surface that travels with the painter.

CesareTallone-Palette-1906Cesare Tallone with one of his palette designs. This model, as seen in the original image, has a thumb-hole.

steps-to-seeing-cta-2021

GET YOUR FREE GUIDE

And begin learning how to draw what you see today!
.

Your privacy is as important to me as is my own. I'll never give out your information and you can unsubscribe anytime through the link at the bottom of all my emails to you. Still not sure? See the site's privacy policy.

After your Free Guide arrives you can expect more free content!

The Sight-Size Cast banner.

Learn Sight-Size cast drawing through the
full-length book,
The Sight-Size Cast!

Learning how to accurately see, as well as draw, is best done through Sight-Size cast drawing. Ateliers exist worldwide to help you do that. But what if you cannot afford atelier training, or there is not an atelier nearby? Or, perhaps you are already in an atelier and would like to supplement that training?

You can learn how to see through Sight-Size, or enhance what you already know with Darren R. Rousar's book The Sight-Size Cast.