Charles Joseph Natoire / Ut Pictura Poesis / 1745/46Charles Joseph Natoire
Ut Pictura Poesis

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Creator Name: Natoire, Charles Joseph
Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1700 - 1777
Gender: M
Creator Birth Place: Nîmes
Creator Death Place: Castel Gandolfo
Creator Name-CRT: Charles Joseph Natoire
Title: Ut Pictura Poesis
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1745
Creation End Date: 1745
Creation Date: 1745/46
Object Type: Drawings and Watercolors
Materials and Techniques: brush and gray and black wash, graphite, red chalk, red chalk wash, and watercolor, with traces of gouache
Dimensions: Sheet: 53.2cm x 38cm
Inscriptions: lower left, in brown ink: Natoire [4?][illegible]
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1998.76
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Provenance: collection Paigon-Dijonval, cat. no. 3347 (according to Cailleux). Private Collection, Paris; [Cailleux]
Context: This drawing by the French painter Charles-Joseph Natoire illustrates a famous statement written by the ancient Latin poet Horace, "Ut Pictura Poesis," ("As is painting, so is poetry"). Artists and writers from the Renaissance onward often invoked Horace's ideas about painting to stress the importance of narration in the visual arts. Painting was often described as a kind of silent poetry. In this view, the best paintings showed the heroic action of great men and women in history in the same way that classical epic poets such as Homer and Virgil wrote about them.At the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris, this idea was the basis for artistic training. The Royal Academy, founded in 1648, was the most important teaching institution forthe arts in France. One of its main goals was to teach students how to correctly draw the human figure. Natoire illustrated the Academy's method in the background of this work, where we see a group of students drawing from a posed model. In the foreground at the right is Minerva, the patron goddess of the Arts, chasing away figures representing Ignorance and Envy. Natoire's message to the viewer is that the arts will triumph if artists master the representation of the human form.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1998.76
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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