Every picture tells a story … but it does not always give away its secrets. For much of its existence, the artist’s mannequin, or lay figure, was one of art’s best-kept. Now, for the first time, Silent Partners will unveil the mannequin’s secret life to show how, from being an inconspicuous studio tool, a piece of equipment as necessary as easel, pigments and brushes, the lay figure became the fetishised subject of the artist’s painting, and eventually, in the twentieth century, a work of art in its own right.
A common figure in the studios of painters and sculptors from the Renaissance onwards, this ‘artful implement’ was used to study perspective, arrange compositions, ‘rehearse’ the fall of light and shade
and, especially, to paint drapery and clothing. But, while even the very greatest artists condoned its use, the mannequin best served its purpose by remaining ‘silent’: too present or visible in the finished picture, the mannequin could make figures appear stiff and unnatural, and so betray
the tricks of the artist’s trade. Link to further info …Dates: Tuesday October 14, 2014 – Sunday January 25, 2015
And at Musée Bourdelle, Paris Spring 2015