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Charles Bargue and Jean-Léon Gérôme Paperback – October 16, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gerald Ackerman was born in California. He completed his studies at the University of California at Berkeley, then at the University of Munich and finally at Princeton, where he received his PhD. For twenty years, he was a professor of art history at Pomona College in California. He is a specialist of Gerome and published studies on other 19th century American and European artists, as well as on the theory of academic art.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Acr Edition (Acc); 3rd edition (October 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2867702038
  • ISBN-13: 978-2867702037
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By "benj9" on February 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is essential for those students who wish to study art seriously, and to make themselves capable enough draftmen in order to paint. It is a complete reproduction of the "fabled but rare" drawing course used in Gerome's studio in nineteenth century Paris, comprising multiple levels of cast drawings, master-copies and linear life-drawings designed specifically to train the student's eye for painting.
The plates are meant for study, to be copied by the student for several purposes; mainly serving as an introduction to the academic drawing process, but also as an artistic and anatomical reference for showing what is essential in form - Bargue, as a teacher, is unmatched in this respect.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the study and/or appreciation of fine drawing, and cannot thank the Dahesh museum enough for compiling it!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "benj9" on February 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is essential for those students who wish to study art seriously, and to make themselves capable enough draftmen in order to paint. It is a complete reproduction of the "fabled but rare" drawing course used in Gerome's studio in nineteenth century Paris, comprising multiple levels of cast drawings, master-copies and linear life-drawings designed specifically to train the student's eye for painting.
The plates are meant for study, to be copied by the student for several purposes; mainly serving as an introduction to the academic drawing process, but also as an artistic and anatomical reference for showing what is essential in form - Bargue, as a teacher, is unmatched in this respect.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the study and/or appreciation of fine drawing, and cannot thank the Dahesh museum enough for compiling it!
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Forshaw on September 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I too have purchased the Charles Bargue Book, and although I am thrilled with the plates, I agree, the notes supplied are not quite enough.

For anyone seriously interested in doing the Bargue Drawing Course, I highly recommend supplementing it with "The Bargue Drawing Companion DVD", produced by Fernando Freitas, of the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto, where the course is taught as part of the drawing curriculum. It will guide you through all the relevant stages of the Bargue drawing technique, and includes printable pages of course notes. As far as I know, no one is offering anything comparable.

Having the Bargue Drawing Companion insruction in DVD form makes it particularly useful as a reference tool. You get to watch a real master in process, which is especially useful when it comes to his technique for the rendering of form. The DVD covers the preparation of materials, the essentials of measurement and proprtion, 'drawing in the flat', the principles of light and dark, and the final rendering of values and forms. [...]
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By S. Cvar on October 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is a classic. It is used as a textbook in Florence, Italy for serious drawing classes with excellent results.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Paulybrooklyn VINE VOICE on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I saw the show that accompanied this book and it really re-invigorated me during a difficult time in my progress as an artist. Bargue is a unique figure in art history; his work is breathtaking and his career is an inspiring puzzle.

The plates from the drawing course are interesting, and certainly of historical value--I have often seen Picasso's student copies of Bargue's lithographs reproduced in books (but never credited!). However, it should be said that this course was created fairly late in the history of academic painting and did not contribute to the training of its most well-known artists, such as Bouguereau. Personally, I would not find the course very useful; in this day and age one can easily find excellent reproductions of the drawings that Bargue copied, as well as high-resolution photographs of antique sculptures. It is informative to see how Bargue simplified forms, but I think one would be better off drawing from life than from his lithographs.

It is Bargue's paintings that really deserve the most notice, although they seem to have been included in this book (and in the exhibition) almost as an afterthought. His technique is exquisite beyond description, comparable to the very best of the Dutch masters. The plates, although good, don't begin to capture the impossible perfection of his work--I doubt that any reproduction could. He describes surfaces and textures with a graceful delicacy that I've never seen surpassed. His draftsmanship and sense of gesture are understated yet flawless, and his compositions--consisting of orientalist and historical genre subjects--are delightful if not particularly original.
It is distressing that so little is known of his life, other than the fact that he was, perplexingly, rather unsuccessful.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Renee Price on August 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
In college I saw so many art majors who could not draw well. But that was ok because they were "expressing themselves" and didn't need to be constricted by old-fashioned rules. I've always believed that you must know the rules before you can break them. If you want to create representational art and not just sling paint on a canvas and call it "art," this is the book you need. This isn't a typical "how to draw" book--this is an investment. If you are serious and are ready to do the work, buy the book today.
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