Sunday 24 November 2013

Drawing treatises online

my related posts:

This is a directory of free downloadable 1400s-1700s drawing instruction books I arranged in two groups:
Treatises - textbooks with detailed instructions and information about materials, techniques, and theory of drawing. Many contain illustrations and examples for copying.
Drawing books, anatomies, books of proportion - richly illustrated books without detailed descriptions of technique.
Drawing books usually have no text and teach through images to be copied by the student in the order of growing complexity.  Books of proportion, anatomy, etc. contain text related to those specific topics in addition to numerous images. 

These books are a window into art education of the time, so they are fascinating to study for anyone who wants to understand old master drawings better, and for anyone trying to copy or assimilate this style.
I keep adding to the list, so if you have any corrections or suggestions for more sources, please comment below or send me an email.

de Lairesse, 1701, GRI, pdf here


(Italian, Dutch, Flemish, French, English, German, Spanish, each in chronological order)

Italian Treatises
(Cennini and Armenini providing most information about technique and tools):

* Cennini, Cennino 1370-1440. Il libro dell'arte. Early 1400s
            Italian, 1859 e-book; liberliber pdf; html
            English, (tr. Thompson 1933), html
* Alberti, Leon Battista 1404-1472. De pictura. 1435
            Latin and Italian, html
            Italian transl.: 1547 e-book; wikisource html
* Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519. Trattato della pittura. 1510s, first published 1651 (info)
            English, French, Italian, books, manuscripts, images
            Italian, Wikisource html, pdf
* Vasari, Giorgio 1511-1574.  Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori. 1550
            Italian, html
            English translation (of parts of Vite), Vasari on technique. 1907  e-book
* Lomazzo, Giovanni Paolo 1538-1600. Trattato dell'arte de la pittura.
           Italian, e-books: 1584, 1585, 1590
           English (tr. Haydock, 1598): e-book
* Armenini, Giovanni Battista 1530-1609. De veri precetti della pittura.
           Italian, e-book, 1586
* Baldinucci, Filippo 1624-1697 Vocabolario toscano dell'arte del disegno. (an arts dictionary)
           Italian, e-books 1681, 1809

Dutch / Flemish Treatises 
(Goeree and de Lairesse provide the most detailed technical instructions)

*Van Mander, Karel 1548-1606. Het schilder-boeck. 1604
            Dutch, html
*Rubens, Peter Paul 1577-1640 and others (after). Theorie de la figure humaine.
            French, e-book 1773
* Passe, Crispijn van de (d. 1670).  La prima-[quinta] parte della luce del dipingere et disegnare.
            Italian, Dutch, French, German, e-book, 1643

* Goeree, Willem 1635-1711
 Inleydingh tot de practijck der al-gemeene schilder-konst, waer in neffens de heerlijckheyt en nuttigheydt der selve, kortelijck wert aengewesen
            Dutch, e-book, 1670 ( Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht)
Anweisung zu der allgemeinen Reiß- und Zeichen-Kunst.  
            German transl., e-books: 1669, 1677(GDZ, with links to ToC headings)
Anweisung zu der Practic oder Handlung der allgemeinen Mahler-Kunst.
            German transl., e-books: 1677 (GDZ), 1678
Anweisung zu der Mahler-Kunst.
            German transl., e-book 1756, 1750 (high res.)
Natuurlyk en schilderkonstig ontwerp der menschkunde leerende niet alleen de kennis van de gestalte . tot de teykenkunde, schilderkunde . toepassen, maar ook hoe sich een...
            Dutch, e-book, 1683
Inleyding tot de praktyk der algemeene schilderkonst.
            Dutch, e-books: 1704, 1705
An Introduction to the General Art of Drawing
            English, html 1674 (my transcript) NEW

* de Lairesse, Gerard 1640-1711.  Grondlegginge ter teekenkonst : zynde een korte en zeekere weg om door middel van de geometrie of meetkunde, de teeken-konst volkomen te leeren. 
           Dutch, e-book 1701
           French translation, 1787, e-book
           English translation, 1764, e-book NEW    

French Treatises

* du Fresnoy, Charles Alphonse 1611-1668. De arte graphica. 
          French tr. by de Piles 1668
          English tr. by Dryden 1695, tr. by William Mason 1783
* Bosse, Abraham 1602-1676. Traicté des manieres de graver en taille douce sur l'airin. Par le Moyen des Eauxs Fortes, & des Vernix Durs & Mols. Ensemble de la façon d'en Imprimer les Planches, & d'en Construire la Presse, & autres choses concernans lesdits Arts. Par A. Bosse, Graveur en Taille Douce. Paris, 1645
(This is a printmaking treatise, but Jombert advised it to drawing students wanting detailed advice on hatching)
          French, e-book, 1645
* de Piles, Roger 1635-1709. Les premiers élémens de la peinture pratique.
          French, e-book 1684
          English, my own translation of pp 9-33
          French, e-book, expanded posthumous edition 1766
* Jombert, Charles-Antoine 1712-1784.
Nouvelle Methode pour apprendre a dessiner sans maitre. 
          French, e-book, 1740
Methode pour apprendre le dessein.
          French, e-book, 1755
          English, my translation of some excerpts

English Treatises

* Peacham, Henry 1578-1644?. The gentlemans exercise, or, An exquisite practise : as well for drawing all manner of...
         English, Getty e-book, 1634 NEW
* Bate, John. The Mysteryes of Nature and Art.
         English, links to pdf and jpg versions at the end of the page about this 1634 book
* Jenner, Thomas (active 1631-1656). A Book of Drawing, Limning, Washing or Colouring of Maps and Prints: and the Art of Painting, with the Names and Mixtures of Colours used by the Picture-Drawers. Or, The Young-mans Time well Spent.
         English, info and pdf of this 1652 book
* Sanderson, William 1586?-1676.  Graphice, the use of the pen and pensil, or, The most excellent art of painting : in two parts
         English, e-book, 1658
* Ratcliffe, Thomas, Daniel, Thomas (printers) Newman, Dorman, Jones, Richard (booksellers) The excellency of the pen and pencil...
         English, e-books: 1668, 1688
* Browne,  Alexander 1660-1677. (translations and borrowings from other authors) Ars pictoria: or, An academy treating of drawing, painting, limning and etching...
         English, e-book, 1669
* Salmon, William 1644-1713. Polygraphice, or, The arts of drawing, engraving, etching, limning, painting, vernishing, japaning, gilding, &c 
          English, e-books: 1685, 1701

German Treatises

* Fürst, Paul  Theoria Artis Pictoriae. A text with a compilation of prints from Italian drawing books
           German, with an informative introduction (2009), 1656, pdf (Heidelberg University)
* Preissler, Johann Daniel.  Die durch Theorie erfundene Practic, oder Gründlich-verfasste Reguln, derer man sich als einer Anleitung zu berühmter Künstlere Zeichen-Wercken bestens bedienen kan..
           German, four Volumes 1761-1663 e-books (Heidelberg University)
* Herzberg, Friedrich.  Anleitung zum gründlichen Unterricht in der Handzeichungskunst für Anfänger.
           German, e-book 1780 (Getty) NEW

Spanish Treatises

* Pacheco, Francisco. Arte de la pintura.
           Spanish, e-book, 1649

Jombert, 1740

* * *

Drawing books, Anatomies, Proportion books, etc.:

* For anatomy books see THIS great resource (Historical Anatomies)
   also see Tortebat, François. Traité d'anatomie appliquée aux beaux-arts. 1667-8 ("full view")

* rer, Albrecht 1471-1528.   
Vier Bücher von menschlicher Proportion. 1528 jpgs
Della simmetria dei corpi humani, Libri Quattro. e-book 1594 

* Palma il Giovane, Jacopo 1544-1628.
Regole per imparar a disegnare i corpi humani diuise in doi libri delineati dal famoso pittor Giacomo Palma,, jpgs
Principi del disegno/ Principles of drawing , jpgs

* Fialetti, Odoardo 1573-1638.  
Tutte le parti del corpo hvmano diuiso in piu pezzi. e-book 1608
Il vero modo et ordine per dissegnar tutte le parti et membra del corpo humano. e-book 1608

* Cousin, Jehan le Jeune 1522-1593.   
Livre de pourtraiture jpgs 1608,
La vraye science de la pourtraicture, e-book 1671

* after Carracci (prints by Luca Ciamberlano, etc) Scvola perfetta per imparare a disegnare tutto il corpo humano / cauata dallo studio, e disegni de Caracci.  (1600-1630)
Getty Research Institute e-book  NEW
British Museum - individual jpgs

* after Guercino (prints by Olivero Gatti c 1620, Francesco Curti 1635-40) drawing book pages (parts of the face, body parts, figures, heads), British Museum - jpgs

* de Ribera, Jusepe. 1622 etchings, Harvard jpgs

* Bracelli, G. B. 1624, not a real drawing book, but does demonstrate figure construction basics in a fun way, so I imagine it could have been used by students, here

* after Rubens 1577-1640.
Drawing book sheets from 1630. British Museum, jpgs;
de Ganay manuscript jpgs 1600s (after 1640) - write "de Ganay" in image search

* della Bella, Stefano.   
I principii del disegno. 1640s. British Museum jpgs , 1824 ed. (see description), GRI, e-book  NEW
Recueil de diverses pieces Servant à l'Art de portraiture. 1645-50. British Museum jpgs 
Diverses testes et figures. 1650 British Museum jpgs
Livre pour apprendre a dessiner. 1647-52. British Museum jpgs

* Bloemaert, Abraham (after), Frederik. Het Tekenboek. 1650-56,
Getty Research Institute e-book NEW; British Museum jpgs

* Fuller, Isaak.  Un libro da designiare. Publisher Peter Stent 1654 British Museum jpgs

* Pesne, Jean, 1623-1700; Audran; PoussinLivre pour aprendre à désigner avec les proportions des parties qui ont esté choisie dans les ouvrages de N. Poussin. 1680 pdf

* Jabach, Everhard  1618-1695. Recueil de 283. estampes gravées à l'eau forte par les plus habiles peintres du tems, d'apres les desseins des grands maitres, que possedoit autrefois M. Jabach et qui depuis on passé au cabinet du roy.  e-book

* Testelin, Henri, 1616-1695 Sentimens des plus habiles peintres du tems, sur la pratique de la peinture et sculpture : recueillis & mis en tables de preceptes, avec six discours academiques, extraits des conferences tenuës en l'Academie Royale desdits arts ... par Henry Testelin, peintre du roi, professeur & secretaire en ladite Academie.  e-book, 1680

* Audran, Girard 1640-1703.  Les proportions du corps humain : mesurées sur les plus belles figures de l'antiquité 1683

* Le Clerc, Sébastien 1637-1714.  Pricipes de dessein / Divers habillemens des anciens grecs et romains  1700

* van Somer, Paul.  Figurae variae. 1675-1714 drawing book prints jpgs British Museum

* Le Brun, Charles 1619-1690.
Méthode pour apprendre à dessiner les passions: proposée dans une conférence sur l'expression générale et particulière. e-book 1702
(after le Brun) Caracteres des passions, sur le desseins de C. le Brun e-book 1750

* Huet, Jean-Baptiste 1745–1811. Premier[-dix-huitiéme] cahier de fragmens et de principes de desseins de tous les genres... Getty e-book 1778  NEW

Stefano della Bella, Recueil de diverses pieces Servant à l'art de portraitureBritish Museum


compiled by Lala Ragimov