Tuesday 19 November 2019
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theguardian - 10 days ago

Manet made the doodles in his letters look effortless ... by using tracing paper

Art historian uncovers secret behind impressionist master’s ‘off-the-cuff’ sketchesThe snails and curled-up cats that decorate the margins of Édouard Manet’s letters are admired for their effortless spontaneity. But an art historian has discovered that the artist recycled these enchanting watercolour doodles by tracing them from designs he had prepared earlier.By comparing Manet’s illustrated letters with his sketchbook drawings, all thought to date from 1880, Dr Emily Beeny has realised a “reuse of motifs” with which he created “an illusion of effortlessness”. She believes that he made “extensive use of tracing” in an apparent attempt to “conceal the effort … required to produce these ‘spontaneous’ works”. Continue reading...


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