Monday, November 23, 2009

Charles Bargue and Jean-Leon Gerome - Cours de dessin

Figure drawing from the Cours de Dessin

Jean-Léon Gérôme - Le Marché aux Esclaves

Charles Bargue wrote a well known and well used book on drawing, Cours de dessin, which was based on the study of classical casts, and progressed from casts, to examples of master drawings to drawing from the living model. The drawings were prepared in collaboration with Jean-Léon Gérôme. The course contained 197 lithographs and was published between1866 and 1871. A show of the complete set of engravings was mounted at the Dahesh Museum of Art. Here is a review by Art Times.

Angel Blowing a Trumpet (after Michelangelo's Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel)

The Arm of Moses by Michelangelo

Horse head from the West Pediment of the Parthenon

Charles Bargue and Jean-Leon Gerome: Drawing Course

Charles Bargue and Jean-Leon Gerome: Drawing Course

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

Blog post of the Koop family has some examples from the book.

Wetcanvas has some as well.

The drawings from casts are great but the figure drawings from life are particularly beautifully observed and elegant. If you like them you might like the work of a less well known artist who studied just a little later than when this work was made, Grace Young, I made a book (How to Draw the Human Figure -The Figure Drawings of Grace A. Young - you can iew Sample pages at Google Books) out of a journal of hers I found which shows her work and describes some of the art school methods of the time whch are also exemplified by the great book about Charles Bargue and Jean-Leon Gerome.

A blog called Gurney Journey had a post about the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto which bases its curriculum on the Bargue drawing course.

Jean-Léon Gérôme - The Slave Auction

Another post on French Academic Drawings.

Jean-Leon Gerome. His Life, His Work (PocheCouleur N° 21)

Jean-Leon Gerome. Monographie revisee et catalogue raisonne mis a jour (Les Orientalistes, Vol. 4) (French Edition)

Gerome (French Edition)




  1. The Dahesh Museum has their own printing of the book, as well.

  2. Thank you for that information.

  3. You may be interested to hear that Fernando Freitas of the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto(see Gurney Journey's link above) has now released 'The Bargue Drawing Companion DVD".

    I have just purchased a copy, after searching for something like this for some time.

    It is superbly informative and will greatly assist anyone studying the Bargue drawing methods and techniques. Printable course notes are also provided with the DVD.

  4. Thanks for the information.


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