Surreal but nice …
I didn’t expect to have to be reminded that it’s ‘Ma’am (rhymes with Ham, not Farm)’ after the initial bow and ‘Good afternoon, your Royal Highness’ today.
The Anatomy life class today at the Prince’s Drawing School was led by Martin Shortis, who graduated from the Royal Academy Schools a year after me. His self-deprecating yet direct way of imparting his thoughts and knowledge about the body and the skeleton beneath is certainly effective. In his lecture, he talked about his research into Vesalius and his anatomical drawings – Martin feels that students need to learn anatomy, rather than be spoon-fed it. So we looked at the skeleton to understand how things join up, before (ideally) heading off to find out about names, functions and so on. Theory follows Practice. He urged us to think more deeply about what we saw and to look for patterns and forces.
I really liked his ideas that one shouldn’t draw the arm(s) early on in a drawing.
He also suggested that drawing directly from real skeletons is beneficial and reminded us about the Grant Museum at UCL, open in the afternoon and the Hunterian at the Royal College of Surgeons. I could take Martha and Charlie, my own experts …
Also, I now have a reason to revisit the Print and Drawing Study Room at the British Museum, if I find myself in that direction.
We were visited by Princess Alexandra who was charming, interested in everyone’s work, even mine, and rather glamorous.
The skeleton study was necessitated by the model having to take an hour’s rest while she was there.
In the evening I heard Julian Bell talk about Rembrandt at the School – he had some interesting ideas about a possible counterpoint between Rembrandt and Descartes- they were both living in Amsterdam at the same time.