Friday, July 2, 2010

Draperyman

The draperyman was a specialist who assisted portrait painters in the 18th and 19th centuries in the design and rendering of costume accessories. Below: King George III in coronation robes by Allan Ramsay (1713–1784).

Draperymen had a knack for painting velvet, lace, satin, and silk, doing so in the style of their clients. Sometimes the portrait artist would paint only the head and hands and then send the canvas to the draperyman for finishing.

One of the most prominent among them was the Flemish-born Joseph van Aken, who assisted Allan Ramsay and Sir Joshua Reynolds. So much was van Aken depended upon, that after his death in 1749, William Hogarth made a satirical drawing showing his distressed clients dolefully following his coffin.

Draperyman at Encyclopedia.com

11 comments:

kev ferrara said...

:-)

Does this mean that Sir Joshua Reynolds was merely a Face-Painter and a Handyman?

My Pen Name said...

norman rockwell hired other people to do lettering. an example is his 'yankee doodle' mural.

Arborescence said...

Oh, wow! I had never heard of a draperyman before. Thanks for posting this.

Rebecca said...

It's like some cool superhero. I am DRAPERYMAN!!! This might explain why proportions were always sort of off during this time. Heads and hands didn't always match the proportions of the bodies. Interesting blog! Thanks for sharing!

Jared Shear said...

I have to say that I find the drapery/costume in this case of King George III far more interesting than his face.

I can see why the practice fell out of favor.

haikujaguar said...

This revelatory post has made my head explode. O_O

Mary Bullock said...

I have always been fascinated with the way fabric drapes the body and follows contours - how it falls into folds and piles at the foot of a model. How light passes through fabric and the realistic rendering of different kinds of fabrics, expecially brocade has been a goal of mine. Alphonse Mucha was wonderful at drapery.

Eric said...

... this man has created the first portable sauna !

Mario said...

A similar case is that of "quadraturista" (I think the italian word is used in english, too), the specialist in painting architectural elements and space, mainly in frescoes. Even G.B. Tiepolo, who was such an astonishing master, had his favourite quadraturista, Gerolamo Mengozzi Colonna - Colonna (column) is a nickname.

Steven K said...

I understand there was also more than one acclaimed "horse painter," who specialized in painting the horses for portraits of nobles riding their favorite mounts. One story is that one of these specialists was frequently called upon to repaint the horses in the portraits, as favorite mounts passed away and were replaced. How strange, to think of portraits that show young noblemen riding horses that were not even born when their portraits were originally painted!

abu said...

thanks for the post.

please visit for free ebooks download www.ebooktub.com