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Dissecting a Masterpiece: Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan


Did the Renaissance Artists really follow the method prescribed by Leon Battista Alberti for drawing the human figure?”.

This question often comes up in my Figure Anatomy classes.
Alberti advised the artists to study Anatomy and, when drawing the figure, start with the skeleton, add the muscles, then the fat and skin and eventually the clothes, in order to obtain solid, expressive and realistic human figures.

Take a look at these images, one by Michelangelo, one by Raphael and one by Bartolomeo Passerotti, Artist and Anatomy teacher in 16th century Bologna.

This two-day workshop is based on this method, devised during the Renaissance, that revolutionized the way the human figure will be represented for the next 5 centuries.

Velazquez’s masterpiece “Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan” will be our inspiration that will take us back in time to study and practice Anatomy, Figure anatomy and Figure drawing, prepare a number of drawings and studies of the human anatomy, practice figure drawing techniques, expand our anatomical knowledge and appreciate the compositional aspects of this masterful work.

Apollo in the forge of Vulcan” is an incredible masterpiece of composition, painting technique and display of anatomical knowledge.

During this weekend long workshop, the students will have occasion to practice figure drawing in various techniques, discuss the compositional construction of this work and study the superficial anatomy by drawing flayed renderings of three of the painting figures from front, back and side view, improving drawing skills and anatomical knowledge.

Course composed by 4 videos

11 Hrs of video content published

Release Date 03/07/2021


roberto osti
roberto osti
Roberto Osti teaches figure drawing and human anatomy for artists at the New York Academy of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Formally trained as a medical illustrator before becoming a fine artist, Osti has contributed his work to many science and art publications. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries in Europe and the United States. He is the author of Basic Human Anatomy (2016), an art instruction best seller and classic reference book. His latest book , Dynamic Human Anatomy has been released in March 2021.
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