Monday, April 15, 2013

The Lely Venus

This statue is called the Lely Venus because a famous artist and connoisseur, Peter Lely, came into possession of it in 1627-28 when the King Charles I art collection was dispersed during the Commonwealth (which included the English Civil War and the execution of King Charles I).

Two years after Lely died it was re-acquired for the Royal Collection and stored in the Palace of Whitehall. In 1698 it was rescued from a fire that destroyed Whitehall Palace, and has been on long-term loan to the British Museum since 2005.

I’ve never drawn in a museum before, but I figured time’s running out and I'm standing there with a sketchpad and a British Museum stool, looking like a dunce.

Time to draw or go home (I think that’s Shakespeare... but I’m not sure).

Drawing in a museum is different from drawing in the weekly Santa Fe drawing group.
Different in a good way: the model never moves.
Different in a bad way: hordes of people constantly walk between you and the model, stopping to chat.

Still fun though.

The Lely Venus
Felt tip pen on paper.
The Romans called her Venus, the Greeks called her Aphrodite.

The Lely Venus, sketch detail.