DISEGNO I: Jacopo Pontormo

DISEGNO I: JACOPO PONTORMO

Disegno means both drawing and design—it signifies the ability to make the drawing and the intellectual capacity to invent its design.

Disegno…having its origin in the intellect, draws out from many single things a general judgment, it is like a form or idea of all the objects in nature.

—Giorgio Vasari, On Technique (1550).

Thus construed, drawing is the essential artistic skill upon which all others depend and, for that reason, it was the foundation of artistic education from the 15th through the early 20th centuries.

This is the first of five posts on disegno, light on commentary, the emphasis being on the images, which speak for themselves.

JACOPO CARUCCI, called PONTORMO (1494 – 1557) was the son of a painter and an apprentice to Leonardo da Vinci. Although he is was a celebrated practitioner of la maniera, or Mannerism, Pontormo’s superb chalk drawings show the profound influence of his friend Michelangelo in their sculptural approach to depicting anatomy.

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