Art Students and Copyists in the Louvre, Paris, drawn by Winslow Homer Harper's Weekly, Vol XII

Art Students and Copyists in the Louvre, Paris, drawn by Winslow Homer Harper's Weekly, Vol XII


In many of the leading art museums, the Louvre in Paris, the Prado in Madrid, the Metropolitan in New York, and our own National Gallery in Washington, D.C., one is likely to see artists at easels working with great concentration to interpret and reproduce the painting in front of them; the turn of a head, the particular color of a sunset sky or the waves of the sea...  These people are copyists, continuing a centuries old tradition of training and education for artists.

Since before the Renaissance, artists have learned much of their craft by studying the techniques and interpretations of the great artists in history.  The Romans were famous for copying the Greeks.  

Closer to our time Renoir, Van Gogh, Manet, Turner, Picasso, and many others, were copyists.  Museums were founded in part to offer artists collections of masterworks to study.

We copy because we love these paintings and want to learn more about them. During our initial study of an individual masterwork, we strive to discover how certain colors were created; which technique did the artist use to create a portrait; how was the atmosphere created.  There is no better way to learn how a particular artist painted than to try to copy his or her technique.

Whether we are copying an abstracted landscape by Cezanne, a seaside by Homer, a child by Cassatt, an interior by Vermeer, a landscape by Van Gogh, a still life by Chardin, a portrait by Sargent or an impressionistic sea by Turner, copying provides the opportunity to study all the elements of art:  composition, color, value, shape, line, texture and perspective.  What a delight it is to look closely at a well-loved painting one day every week!

Many of our paintings are for sale and our artists are available for commissions.