Monday, 7 September 2015

Pentimenti: Exploring Composition.

Michael Whynot. Study of foot. Red chalk.


Michael Whynot. Study of arm. Red chalk.

Michelangelo.


Michelangelo.

Pentimenti (singular pentimento) is the italian word for repentance. These are the traces of exploration that the artist has entertained on the road to a finished composition. They are not so much a mistake as they are a weighing of possible variations on the composition.

Michelangelo, da Vinci and Raphael all used drawing to explore aspects of the figure and of the larger compositions as a whole. This is one factor which I believe set them apart from lessor draftsmen and freed them from a total reliance on the live model. Great works of art are created in the mind of the artist, not copied slavishly from nature. It is the artist's role to pick and choose those aspects which contribute to the beauty of the whole and transcend nature and, in so doing, uplifts the human spirit.