Old Masters Techniques
“No masterpiece was created by the lazy artist” -Salvador Dali
“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all”. – Michelangelo
“Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration” – Thomas Edison
While it is widely recognized that musicians, dancers, doctors and lawyers have to study hard to acquire their skills there is a common misperception that in the visual arts all you need is talent. All of the greatest and most admired masterpieces in visual arts are the results of great talents and superb skills. Those skills were acquired through rigorous training in masters’ studios (ateliers) and in subsequent centuries, in art academies, art schools and universities.
Throughout the history of art, traditional techniques and knowledge were passed along from generation to generation.
However, during the past century the majority of art schools have largely eliminated teaching students the traditional techniques (skills, methods) of the Great Masters. The status of craftsmanship, which for centuries was interwoven and inseparable from the arts, became inferior to the arts and largely forgotten.
Many art students found themselves deprived of the effective training that helps them to achieve desirable results and excel in their profession. A large number of contemporary artists are under equipped and untrained for many of the technical problems that face them.
Just a handful of individuals and few art schools continued the traditional training and preserved the valuable knowledge. This training focuses in particular on teaching practical skills, specific techniques and methods, in short-craftsmanship.
Fortunately, however, there has been a recent re-emergence of representational art. This is verified by the growing number of ateliers and academies that teach the
Old Masters’ Techniques and the many galleries that exhibit it.