Beginning Drawing

A resource blog for ART 24: DRAWING I

Ellipses everywhere

with 4 comments

The latest entry in the James Mcmullan’s NYTimes series, Line by Line is called, The Frisbee of Art. He writes, “The ellipse is the Frisbee of art, the circle freed from its flatness that sails out into imagined space tilting this way and that and ending up on the top of the soup bowl and silver cup in Jean-Baptiste Chardin’s still life or, imagine this, on the wheels of the speeding Batmobile. Once you tune into ellipses, you will begin to see them everywhere…” This article comes at a perfect time for us (see current reading assignment in Week 5 of our syllabus). Francisco de Zurbaran, Plates and Vases 1633Paul Cezanne, Still Life 1883-87-National Gallery of Art
< Note how Cezanne tilts his elipses at strange angles, breaking all the rules.

Here are more examples of the elipse in still life painting:
Kapitolina Rumiantseva, Still life with white tea-cup 1969

Willem Claesz, Still life with gilt goblet 1635

Willem Claesz, Nature morte aux pièces d’étain 1682

Willem Claesz, Stilleben 1634

Pedro de Camprobín, Still life, 17th century

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Written by 9islands

September 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm

4 Responses

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  1. I remember using elipses on Adobe Photoshop for Art back in high school. I used it so often from drawing full cylinders to recreating other famous artist’s work.

    Lorebelle Orlowski

    September 27, 2010 at 9:09 pm

  2. ellipses are hard! I need to practice…

    Nathan Haniger

    October 24, 2010 at 7:48 pm

  3. I find it very interesting that Paul Cézanne intentionally drew the ellipses from different angles. I still haven’t quite understood the point he was trying to make, but it’s definitely interesting.

    William Boyd

    October 27, 2010 at 8:41 pm

  4. I agree with William, I’d really like to know why Paul Cézanne drew his elipses the way that he did. It’s interesting but I’m not sure that I like it:/

    Veronica Penate

    December 10, 2010 at 4:43 pm


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