Monday, April 9, 2012

Menzel's Maquette

Here's a painting by Adolph von Menzel called “The Disturbance,” which shows the response of two finely dressed women to the arrival of an unexpected visitor. 


According to a primary account, "To study the candle lighting accurately he had constructed a tiny parlour with a small piano and two little lights and as well a tiny dressed puppet. He already begun the painting in 1843. On the first sketch a young lady is walking up and down in the room. He later changed his idea into an unexpected visit in the background."

Thanks Christian.

7 comments:

Dangerous Dave said...

James, Thank you very much for this fascinating post. I know you are a great fan of actually making miniature maquettes (to check out lighting effects, among other reasons). So I hesitate to ask this question. Have you ever tried Google SketchUp or any of the other architecture-oriented programs that enable you to create an interior room in correct perspective (and also select the lighting source)?

James Gurney said...

Dangerous, I've never really done much with Sketchup. That's partly because I welcome any chance to do something that gets my hands dirty and that takes me away from the incessant embrace of the computer. And it's also because the main reason I make maquettes is to study complex interactive lighting effects and textural nuances, and I'm not aware of any digital programs that can really beat reality for providing that information.

Dom said...

I admire by the lengths artists went to achieve accuracy centuries ago. We have it so easy.

Artemis said...

Hi James,
Just found your site via the "Making a Mark" emailed newsletter.
I've never heard of the Dinotopia books (Yes, I know ...not sure which planet actually)....
Love the "what's going on at the farm" blog......amazed to see the (Gorgeous ! ) miniature horse....(I'm not a dog person at all but I would love a little herd of these when I go to live in France)....
Must thank "Dangerous Dave's" input too ....didn't know about Google's Sketch-up (trained as a Fine Artist....no experience of graphics programmes..)Have spent the last half hour watching the tutorials and have now downloaded it. Will come in useful for visualising building improvements to the place I'm going to - as well as when applying for Outline Planning Permission here in England.Thanks so much !

Ray Ban Wayfarer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daniel71234 said...

Hey James,

I was just wondering if you've come across a fabric for dressing maquettes that will wrinkle the way real clothes do?

Daniel

Daniel71234 said...

p.s.

Interestingly enough, and everyone might already know this, but I watched a documentary on Thomas Hart Benton today, and he apparently only painted from what he first sculpted. They showed a quick shot of one of his sets, and it looked as if he even painted the clay figures in color. I think they said he got the idea from tintereto who also did it. I could be wrong on that last statement. Pretty cool!