Lumen Picturae: A Classical Drawing Manual

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First published in Amsterdam between 1660 and 1675, Lumen Picturae is a lavishly illustrated guide to classical figurative drawing as taught in the Dutch Golden Age. The complete version, as presented here, is an excellent introduction to 17th Century aesthetics, as well as a useful guide for any artist (professional or novice) to learn the basic principles of composition. Each page provides a step-by-step tutorial to drawing the human figure (breaking it down into heads, hands, feet, anatomy, and then reassembling them into full figures), as well as animal forms (quadrupeds, birds, and mythological creatures). Because this manual is presented without any words beyond the introduction, Lumen Picturae evokes a classical learning style based in the timeless tradition of copying the great masters of yesteryear. Through this guide, art students and lovers from the 21st Century are invited to emulate and admire the beautiful engravings of the de Wit Family, honoring an era upon which every genre of art, whether Impressionist, Expressionist, Cubist or Contemporary, draws.