Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Miniatures on Ivory, Francisco Goya

Bordeaux 1825

Antonio de Brugada witnessed Goya at work: “His miniatures bore no resemblance to fine Italian miniatures nor even those of Jean Baptiste Isabey… . Goya had never been able to imitate anyone, and he was too old to begin. He blackened the ivory plaque and let fall on it a drop of water which removed part of the black ground as it spread out, tracing random light areas. Goya took advantage of these traces and always turned them into something original and unexpected. In transforming the stains of water into recognizable forms, Goya added accents by scratching the surface with a sharp pointed instrument; touches of watercolor were deftly applied; outlines were reinforced in black; and small patches of the surface were wiped to produce a range of shadows and highlights.”

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