Enfilade

Flaxman at the Royal Academy of Arts in London

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 2, 2010

From the Royal Academy of Arts:

The Language of Line: John Flaxman’s Illustrations to the Works of Homer and Aeschylus
Royal Academy of Arts Library, London, 27 July — 29 October 2010

Curator’s Talk, Tuesday, 5 October, 3:30 in the Library Print Room

John Flaxman, "Lampetia Complaining to Apollo," 1792-93, pen and ink with pencil on paper. © Royal Academy of Arts, London; photographer J. Hammond

This year marks the 200th anniversary of John Flaxman’s appointment as the first Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy. Although recognised as one of the leading sculptors of his day, it was Flaxman’s talent as a draughtsman that won him international acclaim. His dynamic yet understated outline illustrations to the works of Homer, Hesiod, Aeschylus and Dante were an immediate success when published as engravings and proved highly influential for generations of artists. The display features a selection of Flaxman’s drawings for the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Tragedies of Aeschylus. The works reveal delicate modifications to the designs that offer insight into the artist’s creative process prior to the production of the engraved plates. Flaxman’s experimentations with pose and composition are resolved into an archetypal style of linear clarity in the engravings, highlighting the practice underpinning his ability to convey dramatic, emotive and even comic effect with a single line.

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