Sunday, February 8, 2009

Academic Drawings - The Ecole Des Beaux-Arts, Paris - Drawing from Life

A few typical academic nude drawings from the 19th century.

Pierre Miciol was the first co-president of the Société Lyonnaise des Beaux Arts.

Another typical drawing from the time is by Léon-Jean Petua, who painted this work Le père Stiefel.

Another academic figure drawing by Francis Paulus Petrus.

Askart page for Francis Petrus Paulus.

Students at the Academy drew from casts as well as from life.

The Ecole Des Beaux-Arts was the premier art school of the nineteenth century, Thomas Eakins modeled his Philadelphia career after the methods championed by the Parisian school where he studied with Jean Lon-Gerome. See Thomas Eakins, scenes from modern life at

There is a history of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts on the French Government's web site. An example of a sculptor working from the model at Women at the École des Beaux-Arts, Madeleine Fessard on a page about Normandy Museums.

The Renaissance in France: Drawings from the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts, Paris: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York September 12-November 12, 1995 at

Academic drawings on Ebay.

Les Concours d'Esquisses Peintes, 1816-1863 (La Peinture a l'Ecole des Beaux-arts) (French Edition)

L'Ecole des beaux-arts: XIXe et XXe siecles (Logiques sociales) (French Edition)

L'entree des femmes a l'Ecole des beaux-arts: 1880-1923 (Beaux-arts histoire) (French Edition)

Annales du Musée et de l\'École Moderne des Beaux-Arts ou Recueil complet de gravures: Salon de 1831 (French Edition)

Language of the Body

See another post about academic drawings How to Draw - Drawing from Casts.

More examples.

Portfolio of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres- Gatteaux Edouard / Guérinet Armand (Editeur) - Dessins, Croquis & Peintures de M. Ingres de la Collection de Edouard Gatteaux du Musée National du Louvre et de l'Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts à Paris / 2e Série
Portfolio de 48 Planches.

Ingres - The Spring

An exhibit of the figure works from l'Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts.

De naakte waarheid - La vérité nue
Courbet et le nu au XIXème siècle.

Partial translation of the article linked to above:

The naked truth
Courbet and the nude in the nineteenth century.
The nude takes its own place in the nineteenth century.
In France as in other European countries, the drawing of the nude in the nineteenth century occupied an important place in academic education. Students begin by copying classical models of antiquity to learn the ideal of beauty. At this time only male students were allowed at the school.

Around 1830, young artists are beginning to challenge these teaching methods. Encouraged by the new medium of photography, they want to establish the reality and not an ideal. They prefer the landscape idyllic agrarian landscape, but are more interested in the common man as hero of the mythology and prefer to see the realistic nude as opposed to the ideal.

Courbet's work departs from the rules of the academy. He collected photos and nude pictures of models. His women have a contemporary expression. Rodin, who said that nature is his teacher, also works from photographs. His contemporaries did not understand his realistic approach, and his sculptures provoke more than once a scandal - not so much because they are naked, but because they do not conform to the aesthetic ideal.

Although Courbet and Rodin have definitely changed the look at the nude, the old rules of the ideal of classic beauty will remain in effect for a long time at the Show. The academies, however, allow the late nineteenth century gradually photography as auxiliary and are even collections.

The exhibition presents works by Cabanel, Ingres, Gérôme, Moreau, nine major Courbet nudes, several sculptures by Rodin and many historic photographs from the collection of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Unfortunately the exhibition closed in 2006 but the website continues.

The book documents the changing times of 1800 to 1923 when female students were admitted.

L'entree des femmes a l'Ecole des beaux-arts: 1880-1923 (Beaux-arts histoire) (French Edition)

Also see my book How to Draw the Human Figure: The Figure Drawings of Grace A. Young for some history of the teaching of art to women in America.

L'ABCdaire de Courbet et le realisme

Esthétique et Origines de la peinture moderne, tome 2 : Le Réalisme de Courbet

L'Art au XIX Siecle en France 1815 - 1870 - Architecture, Sculpture, Peinture, Arts Appliques (Courbet, Corot, Moreau, Bazille, Fantin-Latour, R. Bonheur, and many others)

Les Annees de la Belle Epoque. De l'Impressionnisme a l'Art Moderne (1890-1914) (French Edition)

Robert Pougheon - Le Cheval libre, 1932
Crayon sur papier - He was a Student at l'Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, following courses Lameire, Baudoin and Besnard. He was particularly influenced by the art and the teaching of Jean-Paul Laurens, but also by Puvis de Chavannes and Maurice Denis. Grand Prix de Rome in 1914, he became after the war, member of the French Salon des Artistes, where he exhibited regularly. Later in his career he taught at the l'Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1935 and was curator of the museum Jacquemart-André.

Link to an abstract on anatomy training at l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris: The Body and Difference: Anatomy training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the later nineteenth century

LE NU ACADEMIQUE AU XIXème siècle. Review.

L'ART DU NU ACADEMIQUE AU XIXème SIÈCLE Extensive pages about art in Paris. Here is the Main page.

Here's a rebel from l'ecole des Beaux Artes, Charles Despiau. According to the website devoted to him: Granted a regional scholarship, Despiau first attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and later the Ecole des Beaux Arts where he quickly realized, according to Léon Deshairs, that "anatomy isn't sculpture" and that he wasn't suited to the "glorification of biceps and triceps." He therefore increasingly cut classes (where he learned basic techniques) in order to visit museums and work extensively at home.

Books related to Charles Despiau:


Charles Despiau: Zeichnungen (German Edition)

Despiau (Universe sculpture series)

Chefs-D'oeuvres Des Collections Suisses De Manet a Picasso; Orangerie Des Tuileries, Paris 1967: L'Impressionisme; Cezanne, Gauguin Et Van Gogh; Les Nabis Et Les Pointillistes; Les Fauves; L'Ecole De Paris; Les Cubistes (Charles Despiau; Renoir; Degas)

Rodin: The Shape of Genius

André Salmon on French Modern Art

Frauenakt im Atelier Julian, 1885 by Felix Vallotton an example of a famous artist's work in one of the Paris ateliers.

Hemicycle of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, 1814, oil on canvas by Paul Hippolyte Delaroche

Figures du corps : Une leçon d'anatomie à l'école des Beaux-Arts
 A catalog of the models, plaster casts, skeletons, tools and photographs used at l"Ecole des Beaux Arts.
Review of the book in English including several illustrations from the book:

Review: Figures du Corps: Une Leçon d’Anatomie à l’École des Beaux-Arts

Another review in French:

Figure du corps. Une leçon d'anatomie aux Beaux-Arts

One more:

Figures du corps, une leçon d’anatomie aux Beaux-arts dans ses galeries d’exposition

Another image from the book: Jean Bosq (1812-1830?) Squelette du Gladiateur combattant from Anatomie du Gladiateur combattant, applicable aux beaux-arts, ou Traité des os, des muscles, du mécanisme des mouvements, des proportions et des caractères du corps humain, Paris, chez lAuteur, 1812. École des Beaux-Arts, Paris.

Charles Bargue wrote a well known and well used book on drawing which was based on the study of classical casts, and progressed from casts, to examples of master drawings to drawing from the living model. A show of the complete set of engravings was mounted at the Dahesh Museum of Art.

Charles Bargue and Jean-Leon Gerome: Drawing Course

Charles Bargue et Jean-Leon Gerome. Cours de dessin (French Edition)

Another post on Charles Bargue and Lean-Leon Gerome.

John Singer Sargent's The Dancing Faun, after the Antique, c.1873-1874.
Here's some more about the Ecole Des Beau-Arts from the John Singer Sargent Virtual Gallery.

A link to more examples of drawings from the the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts.

William Bouguereau, 1865.

Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice

19th Century French Academic Drawing
Click here to see the drawing for sale on Ebay.

19th Century French Academic Drawing
Click here to see the drawing for sale on Ebay.

My book which uses the drawings of Grace Young to show the evolving methods of teaching drawing in the USA is How to Draw the Human Figure - The Figure Drawings of Grace A. Young

Also available at How to How To Draw The Human Figure: The Drawings Of Grace YoungHow To Draw The Human Figure: The Drawings Of Grace Young


Link to the Plaster Cast Gallery for examples of plaster casts used by art students: Die Gipsabguss-Galerie - Das erste Aktmodell

Sargent Portrait Drawings: 42 Works by John Singer Sargent (Dover Art Library)Sargent Portrait Drawings
Sargent Portrait Drawings: 42 Works by John Singer 
Sargent (Dover Art Library)Sargent Portrait Drawings


    Marc Vérat (extrait, petit traité 1971)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...