Monday, November 17, 2008

Renaissance Faces - in my sketchbook

A Laughing Boy (Henry VIII) attributed to Georgio Mazzoni
11" x 8", pencil in sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I visited the Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian at the National Gallery last week and took my sketchbook and a pencil into the exhibition. The exhibition covers faces in paintings created in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This is the result.

The drawing at the top is of a gilded sculpture of what is called A Laughing Boy but is understood to be a cast of the young Henry VIII (one of those ones where they have to stick tubes up your nose). Quite how they managed the laughing mouth is beyond me. It's an impressive piece and was interesting to draw and make 3D into 2D.

LEFT: Saint Constance, called ‘The Beautiful Florentine’, about 1450–75
by the Circle of Desiderio da Settignano (about 1430–1464)
RIGHT: Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife by Jan Van Eyck 1434
pencil and coloured pencils in sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The piece above left is a wooden sculpture bust which normally lives in The Louvre. She's supposed to be an ideal of female beauty in the fifteenth century and is the starting point of the exhibition.

There are lots and lots of famous artists and famous paintings in the exhibition and one of them is Jan Van Eyck's painting of Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife - painted in 1434. This is the painting which is sometimes referred to as the Arnolfini Marriage

I'll be writing about the exhibition of Making A Mark tomorrow [UPDATE: see Renaissance Faces at the National Gallery]


  1. I've been following your blog for a couple of months and I just wanted to say that you have a really beautiful style - very refined and well stated lines - you say just enough without going overboard - thanks for sharing...

  2. Thanks Dave - much appreciated. That's exactly what I'm aiming to do so nice to hear I'm succeeding! :)

  3. These Renaissance sketches are so fine, Katherine. I am knocked over by your LAUGHING BOY, especially.

  4. I am an artist of sorts myself and your sketches are wonderful. Great job!


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