This book does three things. It offers an overview of the artistic milieu of the 1700s, gives brief biographies of some of the most important Swedish artists of that century, and shows samples of their work – drawings, that is. The artists showcased worked was in different areas like sculpture, interior design, or painting, but here, the emphasis is on their drawing skills.
|Carl Gustaf Pilo, preparatory drawing/wash for (sadly unfinished) painting of the coronation of Gustaf III.|
As I've noted in previous posts, the 1700s set the stage for developing a class of skilled artists and craftsmen in a variety of disciplines thanks to the massive effort to build the new Royal Palace. Not only did it offer work for the skilled Swedes that already existed (and their apprentices), a school was instituted where the imported French masters would teach talented Swedes their skills. A huge number of Swedish artists would benefit from this education, which like the French school it was patterned on would start by letting students learn anatomical details from pictures, moving on to copying whole works and not until they'd learned appropriate shading and rendering techniques having them start drawing from life – sculptures at first, only later moving on to live models. Guillaume Taraval was the first teacher, later assisted by sculptor Jacques-Philippe Bouchardon.
|Carl Larsson imagines Taraval's painting school (Malmö Art Museum).|
|Johan Sevenbom, study of workers hauling a stone slab.|
|Sevenbom, landscape painting of Stockholm (Wikipedia).|