Roman Sketches

Drawing in Rome

For a person who is addicted to drawing works of sculpture, it can be no surprise that the city of Rome is paradise. I live in New York, and frequently slake my thirst at the Met, or in various places around the city. But nothing approaches the wealth of possibilities available in the Eternal City. I had the good fortune to be invited to attend the American Academy in Rome as a Visiting Artist on three occasions between 2007 until 2012, supplemented by private trips there in other years. When first applying to the Academy, they required that you submit a proposed project. Later on I realized that other artists tended to create voluminous folders describing their intentions. I did send them some of my drawings, but in describing my project, I simply wrote “to draw Bernini’s.” After my first admission, in later attempts to return, I modified my project outline by simply saying “to draw sculpture.” The obvious reason: where else can you find such a huge selection of masterpieces by such a huge selection of sculptors?

At left, drawing in Piazza Navona. At right, in Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.

Rio Danube

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1648 to 1651, Piazza Navona.

Erma del Giardino

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Sculpture by Pietro and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1616 to 1619, Villa Borghese.

Flora

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Sculptor unknown, Piazza del Popolo.

Rio Ganges

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1648 to 1651, Piazza Navona.

Rio Della Platta

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1648 to 1651, Piazza Navona.

Fontano del Moro

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1648 to 1651, Piazza Navona.

Fontana del Nettuno

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Sculpture by Antonio Della Bitta, 1878, Piazza Navona.

Rio Nile

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1648 to 1651, Piazza Navona.

Putto Mounting a Fish

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Sculpture by Gregorio Zappala, 1878, Piazza Navona.

Putto with Crown

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Sculptor unknown, Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Ratto di Proserpina

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1648 to 1651, Galleria Borghese.

Vanity

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Sculptor unknown. Basilica di Sant’Andrea delle Valle.

Weeping Putto

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Sculptor unknown. Tomb of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, Chiesa di Santa Crisogono, Trastevere.

Angelo: In Flagella Paratus Sum

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1668-1670. Ponte Sant’Angelo.

 

Monster with Dolphins

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Cosimo della Porta and Luigi Amici, 1874. Fontana del Moro, Piazza Navona.

Trittone

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Antonio Antonio Mari, 1874. Fontana del Moro, Piazza Navona.

 

Putto with Shield Bearing Rezzonico Family Crest

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Cristoforo Hewetson, 1787. Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere.

 

Angel with Robe: “Super Vestem Meam Miserunt Sortem”

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1668-1670. Ponte Sant’Angelo.

 

Bust of Angelo Massina

-Graphite, 16 x 12 inches. Sculptor unknown, Passagio di Garabaldi, Gianicolo. Drawing a gift to the American Academy in Rome, July 2010.

 

Sea Diety and Creatures

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Cosimo della Porta and Luigi Amici, 1874. Fontana del Moro, Piazza Navona.

 

Religion

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Pietro Bacci, 1734-1739. Basilica di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Chapel of St. Dominic.

 

Putto with Scroll

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Cristoforo Hewetson, 1787. Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere.

 

Humility

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Bartolomeo Pincellotti, 1734-1739. Basilica di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Chapel of St. Dominic.

 

Angel with Curtain

-Graphite, 12 x 16 inches. Arrigo Garde, 1657-1659. Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo.