Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters

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Overview

A book whose sales have not diminished but rather increased dramatically since its publication 45 years ago, this bestselling classic is the ultimate manual of drawing taught by the late Robert Beverly Hale, who’s famed lectures and classes at New York City’s Art Student League captivated artists and art educators from around the world.

Faithfully producing and methodically analyzing 100 master drawings—including works of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rodin, Goya, and ...

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Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition

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Overview

A book whose sales have not diminished but rather increased dramatically since its publication 45 years ago, this bestselling classic is the ultimate manual of drawing taught by the late Robert Beverly Hale, who’s famed lectures and classes at New York City’s Art Student League captivated artists and art educators from around the world.

Faithfully producing and methodically analyzing 100 master drawings—including works of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rodin, Goya, and Rembrandt among others—Hale shows how these artists tackled basic problems such as line, light and planes, mass, position and thrust, and anatomy. With detailed analytical captions and diagrams, every lesson is clearly delineated and illustrated. Throughout, also, is commentary that sheds light on the creative process of drawing and offers deep insight into the unsurpassed achievements of the masters.

This famous work enables artists to learn drawing as those of the past did--by study and emulation of the masters.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823014019
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: Original
  • Edition number: 45
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 163,764
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT BEVERLY HALE was the Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a world-renowned teacher at New York Student’s Art League for 40 years, and Adjunct Professor of Drawing and Lecturer on Anatomy at Columbia University. He also co-authored Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters.
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Foreword

WHEN I WAS ASKED TO WRITE THIS FOREWORD, I was thrilled and a bit unnerved. The idea has a strange circularity. I am now contributing to the very book that thirty years ago helped form who I have become.
Then I was twelve years old, my grandmother, who was an artist and very dear to me, gave me a copy of Robert Beverly Hale's Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters. I had always loved drawing, but Hale's book changed everything. I spent the following years poring over the plates and explanations in Hale's book. I made scrupulous copies of at least a dozen of the drawings, and I applied the fundamental geometric conceptualization to all the drawings I made.
Writing this foreword got me thinking about my drawing life in a fundamental way. In the years since I was a boy and spent so much time with this book, I have made a lot of figure drawings and figure paintings. I went on to study with a few wonderful teachers, was influenced by many gifted colleagues and brilliant students. I pursued skills of naturalistic observational drawing-skills that Hale encourages us to move beyond. Further, I have been exposed to methods and ideas that Hale does not touch on in this book and might not have endorsed. But as I now think about drawing as an artist and a teacher, I return to this book's deep and powerful principles. \\That he made so clear to me back then has formed the bedrock under all my subsequent drawing: Know the anatomy deeply and organize it by simple geometrical concepts.
Through the plates and the text, Hale offers a magical glimpse into a lost world, a world he dares you to try to enter. To a dreamy and ambitious young artist, his claim that there is "No one alive today whocan draw the figure even as well as the worst artist represented in this book," reads like a challenge, like the sword in the stone. After reading something like that, how can you not spend your life trying to join that magical confraternity of giants? I know that, like me, many of my artist friends today were inspired by that lofty challenge.
Since the original publication of this book in 1964, a great many changes have overtaken the art world. I am sure Robert Beverly Hale would hardly recognize it now. Some of the developments he might find a bit unsettling, while others he might look upon with amusement and delight. But the development that I most wish he were here to see is the broadening and deepening enthusiasm for figure drawing that he helped to foster with this book. The last thirty years have seen a vigorous revival of the classical drawing tradition Hale cherished. There are new artists and schools popping up all around us. They are dedicating themselves to the deep and serious figure drawing for which Hale argued so eloquently. All around me I am seeing better and better drawing. Someday soon, the passage in Drawing Lessons from the Great 1\1asters abont how no one alive can draw as well any master in the book may not ring so true. And if it doesn't, it will be becanse of Hale's vision.

-JACOB COLLINS
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2006

    A must-have for any artist!

    This is a serious, thoughtful book that shows you various drawings by the great masters and, with very detailed notes and comments, explains exactly what it is that makes them great. There is so much information and so many drawing rules and tips, of varying degrees of difficulty, that I learn something new every time I open it. And it's just a great, enjoyable read, much like listening to a lecture given by an ethusiastic, inspirational, knowledgable, and at times harsh teacher. As a wealth of information, I would recommend it to anybody seriously interested in drawing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 3, 2009

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    Posted January 24, 2010

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