Thursday, June 28, 2018

Adolph Menzel: Obsessed with Drawing from Life

Adolph Menzel was always prepared to draw. One of his overcoats had eight pockets, each filled with sketchbooks of different sizes. On the lower left side was an especially large pocket which held a leather case with a big sketchbook, some pencils, a couple of shading stumps and a gum eraser.


His personal motto was 'Nulla dies sine linea' ('Not a day without a line'). He drew ambidextrously, alternating between the left and the right hand, sometimes on the same drawing. He was known to interrupt an important gathering by pulling out his sketchbook, sharpening his pencil, casting an eye around the room, and focusing on a coat, a chair or a hand. This sometimes brought the proceedings to a halt until he finished. But he preferred to draw people unawares. Once his friend Carl Johann Arnold awoke from a nap to find the artist busily drawing his portrait. 'You just woke up five minutes too early,' Menzel told him.
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from "Adolph Menzel Drawings" edited by, and signed by James Gurney

1 comment:

Jayson Mondala said...

Your Menzel book was one of the few good books I read about an individual artist from the past few years. I never heard of him before it was published.