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Undressed Art
Why We Draw
Written by Peter Steinhart

Undressed Art
Enlarge View

Category: Art - Criticism & Theory; Art - Techniques - Life Drawing; Art - History - Contemporary (1945-)
Imprint: Vintage
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: September 2005
Price: $15.95
Can. Price: $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7605-5 (1-4000-7605-6)
Pages: 272


On the Art of Drawing
(from The Undressed Art: Why We Draw)

“A drawing is an immediate emanation of personality, of the rhythm of life and its creative faculty.” – Otto Benesch, art historian

“If drawing belongs to the world of spirit and color to that of the senses, you must draw first to cultivate the spirit.” – Henri Matisse

“Humans are the only animals that draw. . . . Practically every human being draws at some time in childhood.” – Peter Steinhart

“To draw is to make an idea precise. Drawing is the precision of thought.” – Henri Matisse

“A drawing of the nude is a most revealing expression because it is at once the most private and the most personal. Often such drawings are made with no thought of public exhibition. They possess the intimacy of diaries.”– Mervyn Levy, critic

“[Drawing should be] a journey of pleasure. Each step must present to the travellers’ view objects that are eminently interesting, varied in their appearances, and attracting to such a degree as to excite in each individual thus happily employed the desire of knowing all respecting all he sees.”
– John James Audubon

“If you can draw the stone rightly, everything within reach of art is also within yours.” – John Ruskin

“Conceivably, drawing may be the most haunting obsession the mind can experience. . . . Things stare us in the face, the visible world is a perpetual stimulant, constantly maintaining or arousing the instinct to master the outline or the volume of that thing which the eye constructs.”
– Paul Valery, critic

“Make an effort to collect the good features from many beautiful faces.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“Art is an extension of our human abilities to make mental images and to hold ideas in the form of symbols. Art thus increases our abilities to record and manipulate experience.”
– Peter Steinhart

“No nude, however abstract, should fail to arouse in the spectator some vestige of erotic feeling, even though it be only the faintest shadow. And if it does not do so it is bad art and false morals. The desire to grasp and be united with another human body is so fundamental a part of our nature that our judgment of what is known as ‘pure form’ is influenced by it, and one of the difficulties of the nude as a subject for art is that these instincts can’t lie hidden.” – Kenneth Clark

“The only principle in art is to copy what you see. Dealers in aesthetics to the contrary, every other method is fatal. There is no recipe for improving nature. The only thing is to see.” – Auguste Rodin

“I am an artist. . . . It’s self evident that what that word implies is looking for something all the time without ever finding it in full. It is the opposite of saying, ‘I know all about it. I’ve already found it.’ As far as I’m concerned, the word means, ‘I am looking. I am hunting for it, I am deeply involved.’”
– Vincent Van Gogh

“Drawing is like an expressive gesture, but it has the advantage of permanency.”
– Henri Matisse

“An artist of understanding and experience can show more of his great power and art in small things roughly and rudely done, than many another in a great work. A man may often draw something with his pen on a half sheet of paper in one day . . . . and it shall be fuller of art and better than another’s great work whereon he hath spent a whole year’s careful labor.”
– Albrecht Durer

“Do not concern yourself with other people. Concern yourself with your own work alone.” – Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

“The only thing to do is to go one’s own way, to try one’s best, to make the thing live.” – Vincent Van Gogh

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