Study for Last Judgement (1536)
Preparatory drawing for Frescoes
in Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo.
The Basis of Other Artforms
Drawing is Also an Independent Artform
Drawing Versus Painting
Categories of Drawing
An enormous number of tools and implements can be used to draw, including slate pencils, metal styli, charcoal, and chalks, as well as traditional pens, pencils, and brushes, fountain pens, ball-point pens, and felt pencils; indeed, even chisels and diamonds are used for drawing.
Partially consumed pieces of wood have been used ever since the era of Prehistoric art, when paleolithic artists produced the amazing cave painting to be found at Chauvet, Lascaux and Altamira. The tradition was maintained by the Old Masters, whose preparatory charcoal drawings for mural, panel, and even miniature painting can still occasionally be seen under the pigment. Drawing charcoal typically gives a porous and not very adhesive stroke. A pointed charcoal pencil can produce exceptionally thin lines; if used broadside on the surface, it creates evenly toned planes. Rubbing and smudging the charcoal line results in dimmed intermediate shades and delicate transitions. Due to its slight adhesiveness, charcoal is ideal for corrective sketching, but if the drawing is to be preserved, it needs to be protected by a fixative.
As a medium for rapid sketches from life models, charcoal was much in use in art academies and workshops. Difficult poses, such as Tintoretto demanded of his models, could be captured quickly and easily with the adaptable charcoal pencil. (For more on Tintoretto's drawings, see: Venetian Drawing 1500-1600.) Charcoal was also widely used in preparatory sketches for portraiture. In his charcoal drawing Portrait of a Lady, the French painter Edouard Manet (1832-83) managed to capture the grain of the wood in the chair, the fur trimming on the dress, the compactness of the coiffure, and the softness of the flesh. The 17th-century Dutch painter Paulus Potter (1625-54) was another great exponent, as also were the great draftsmen of modern age, such as Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945), and Ernst Barlach (1870-1938).
With oiled charcoal, that is, charcoal pencils dipped in linseed oil, artists obtained better adhesion and a deeper black. Utilized in the 16th century by Tintoretto, this technique was particularly popular with Dutch Realist artists of the 17th century, in order to set deep-black accents. However, in return for better adhesion in the indentations of the paper, correction becomes more difficult. Moreover, charcoal crayons that have been deeply immersed in oil leave a brownish streak alongside the lines.
Chalks are an equally important drawing medium. Where charcoal is primarily a medium for quick correctable sketching, chalk drawing can achieve this and more. Since the beginning of the 16th century, stone chalk, as found in nature, has become increasingly more popular in art drawing. As a natural material, alumina chalk has various degrees of hardness, so that the stroke varies from slightly granular to homogeneously dense and smooth. The search for uniform quality has led to the production of special chalks for drawing; that is, chalks, which, after being pulverized, washed, and formed into convenient sticks, allow a softer, more regular stroke and are also free of sandy particles. The addition of pigments creates various tints from a rich black to a brownish grey; compared to the much-used black chalk, the brown variety is of little significance. White chalk, also found in nature, is hardly ever used as an independent medium for drawing, although it is often used in combination with other mediums in order to achieve as individual accents of reflected light.
Starting from the 15th century, chalk has been employed increasingly for studies and sketches. Its suitability for drawing precise lines of a given width and for creating finely shaded tints makes it especially appropriate for modelling studies. Because of these attributes, chalk is a particularly good medium for autonomous drawings, and there is hardly a draftsman who has not worked in chalk, often in combination with other media. Apart from portrait drawings, landscapes have formed the main theme of chalk drawings, especially with the Dutch. Ever since the invention of artificial chalk made from the fine, dull-black soot known as lampblack - an invention attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - the pictorial qualities of chalk have been fully explored. The range of chalks extends from dry, charcoal-like varieties to the fatty ones used by lithographers.
Sanguine, a chalk-and-iron-oxide drawing pencil, was a popular drawing medium in the 15th century, because of its wealth of colourful possibilities. It was popular with Michelangelo, Raphael and Andrea del Sarto (1486-1531), while Leonardo da Vinci used it in his sketches for The Last Supper: see also Michelangelo's Profile with Oriental Headdress (1522, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford). Other artists who used sanguine included the portraitists Jean Clouet and Hans Holbein, the Flemish School around Peter Paul Rubens, and, above all, 18th-century French artists such as Watteau, Nicolas Lancret, Jean-Etienne Liotard, Jacques-Andre Ponail, and Francois Boucher. Sanguine offered even greater colour differentiation when used in combination with black and white chalks, on coloured paper.
Chalk drawings are also associated with modern draftsmen such as Edgar Degas, Odilon Redon, Gustave Moreau, Jean-Edouard Vuillard, and Pierre Bonnard, as well as Expressionist artists like Edvard Munch and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
Even greater colour refinement is possible with pastel crayons, made from powdered pigments mixed with a minimum amount of non-greasy binder. When the colours are applied to paper, they invariably look fresh and bright, although they must be preserved from dispersion by being kept under glass. Pastel colours can be applied in linear technique directly with the crayons, or to an area of the paper directly with the fingers. Pastels originated in the north of Italy during the 16th century, and were employed by Jacopo Bassano and Frederico Barocci. Pastel drawings were known to the Accademia degli Incamminati no later than the 17th century, although as an art form it did not reach its apogee until the 18th century, notably in France (with Jean Marc Nattier, Maurice Quentin de La Tour, Jean-Baptiste Perronneau and Jean Chardin) and in Venice (with Rosalba Carriera). Pastel chalks were especially favoured by portraitists.
The technique of metal point has been used in writing and delineation ever since antiquity, so it needed little imagination to employ it also in drawing. Artists use a slim tool (rod or stylus) of pure soft metal, such as lead, silver, tin, copper as well as various lead-and-pewter alloys. The most commonly used material was soft lead, which when used on a smooth surface produces a pale grey line; it is not very strong in colour, and easily erasable, and is therefore ideal for preparatory sketches.
Paper preparation was vital to the visibility of the line. During Renaissance times, the blank page was typically brushed with layers of a liquid mixture of finely ground chalk, bone gesso or lead white tinted with pigment and bound with hide glue and gelatine. And all metalpoints, except leadpoint, call for a rough working surface. One of the best early sources of metalpoint art is the book of sketches by the 15th-century Venetian painter Jacopo Bellini (1400-70) which contains a number of leadpoint drawings on tinted paper. The Florentine painter Botticelli used leadpoint to sketch the outline of his famous illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy, afterwards retracing them with the pen.
Permanent drawing is best achieved with silverpoint, as once applied, it cannot be erased. Thus silverpoint drawings demand a clearer concept of form and a steady hand as all corrections remain visible. Three-dimensionality and depiction of light must be represented either by dense hatching, blank spaces or else supplemented by other mediums. Despite these difficulties, silverpoint was very popular in the 15th and 16th centuries. Albrecht Durer used silverpoint to sketch landscapes, portraits, and various items that caught his attention during one particular journey to Holland. Silverpoint was also popular with portrait artists from the 15th into the 17th century. It was later revived during the era of Romanticism, and is still used occasionally by modern artists. Metalpoints continued to be used well into the 18th century, notably in architectural drawings.
At the end of the 16th century, a new drawing medium appeared and rapidly replaced metalpoint for sketching and preliminary drawing. Known as graphite point - or "Spanish lead" after its main place of origin - this drawing medium attracted widespread popularity, although due to its soft consistency it was used mainly for preparatory sketches, rather than autonomous drawings. The graphite point duly spawned the lead pencil, following the 1790 discovery by Nicolas-Jacques of a manufacturing process similar to that used in the production of artificial chalk. Cleaned and washed, graphite could henceforth be manufactured in almost any degree of hardness. The pencil hard points, with their durable, clear, thin strokes, were particularly suited to the purposes of Neoclassicist artists. Among the greatest exponents of pencil draftsmen was the academic painter J-A-D Ingres, who employed systematic pencil drawings as the basis for his oil paintings.
Numerous pencil drawing techniques emerged with time. Late 19th century painters, like Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), favoured softer pencils in order to boost the depth and 3-D effect of certain areas within the drawing. Georges Seurat (1859-91) fell back on graphite in his drawings (At a European Concert, Museum of Modern Art, New York) in which he translated his Pointillist technique into the monochrome medium of drawing. Pencil frottage (rubbing made on paper which is then placed over a rough surface), first explored by the Surrealist artist Max Ernst (1891-1976), was another innovative technique.
Of the many ways of transferring liquid dyes onto a plane surface, two are particularly significant for art drawing: brush and pen. If the brush represents an altogether older method, dating from Paleolithic art, the pen has been the favourite writing and drawing implement ever since classical antiquity.
The functionality of the pen has remained almost unchanged for several millennia. The capillary effect of the split tip, applies the drawing fluid to the surface ground (initially parchment, papyrus, vellum, but since the late Middle Ages, almost exclusively paper) in varying amounts depending on the saturation of the pen and the pressure exerted by the drawing hand. The oldest type of pen is the reed pen; cut from papyrus plants, bamboo or sedge, it stores a reservoir of fluid in its hollow interior. Its stroke is typically powerful, hard, and occasionally forked as a result of stronger pressure being applied to the split tip. Rembrandt was an outstanding master of the strong, plastic accents of the reed pen, usually supplementing it with other pens or brushes. During the 19th century, starting with the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, pure reed-pen drawings in an expressionist style have been created by several artists, including the Dadaist and satirical German expressionist George Grosz (1893-1959). See also: Illustration Art.
The quill pen offers an even wider range of artistic possibilities. Ever since the late Middle Ages - the quill has been the most commonly used instrument for applying liquid dyes to the drawing surface. The supple tip of the quill pen, available in varying strengths, allows a relatively wide scale of individual strokes - from soft, thin lines, such as those used in preparatory sketches for illustrations in illuminated books, to energetic, broad lines. During the 20th century, metal pens emerged to replace quills, and are now made from high-grade steel and in different strengths.
Inks are the most common form of liquid dye used in drawing. Gallnut ink was popular within monastic scriptoria during the medieval era of illuminated manuscripts. Another ink which became popular was bistre, an easily dissolved, light-to dark-brown transparent pigment obtained from the soot of the lampblack that coats wood-burning chimneys. Its shade of colour varies according to its concentration and on the type of wood from which it is derived. Hardwoods (like oak) produce a darker shade than conifers, such as pine. During the pictorially oriented period of Baroque art, the warm tone that can be thinned at will made bistre a popular medium for pen drawings.
Also obtained from a carbon source is India ink, derived from the soot of exceptionally hard woods, such as olive or grape vines, or from the fatty lampblack of the oil flame, with gum-arabic mixed in as a binding agent. This thick black fluid preserves its dark tone for a long time and can be diluted with water until it becomes a light grey. Pressed into sticks or bars, it used to be sold under the name of Chinese ink or India ink. This drawing ink was favoured in particular by German and Dutch draftsmen because of its strong colour, which made it especially suitable for use on tinted paper. Since the 19th century, India ink has been by far the most popular type of drawing ink for pen drawings, displacing all other alternatives in technical sketches.
Other drawing fluids have included sepia, made from the pigment of the cuttlefish, minium (red lead) - used in particular for the decoration of initial letters and also in illustrated pen drawings.
Alongside written manuscript texts, pen drawings are among the oldest artistic documents. Classical texts were illustrated with strong contours and sparse interior details; medieval marginal drawings and book illustrations were typically pre-sketched, if not actually executed, with the pen. In book painting, styles emerged in which the brush was also employed in the manner of a pen drawing: for example, in the Reims School of Carolingian art, noted for its production of the 9th century Utrecht Psalter, and also in south Germany, where a separate illustrative genre using line drawings was closely associated with the Biblia Pauperum - low-cost biblical picture books used to instruct large numbers of people in the Christian faith. The thin-lined outline sketch is also characteristic of the earliest autonomous drawings of the early Renaissance. In the 16th century, pen drawing reached its apogee. Leonardo was noted for the particularly precise stroke of his scientific drawings; Raphael produced more regular, graceful sketches, while Michelangelo drew with short strokes reminiscent of chisel work; Titian used intricate hatching to denote light and dark, while among the Northern Renaissance artists, Durer mastered all the possibilities of pen drawing, from a purely graphic, delineatory approach to a spatial and plastic modelling technique.
During the 17th century, pen drawing became less popular than other combined techniques such as wash (a sweep or splash of colour) applied with the brush. An open style of drawing whichmerely suggested contours, coupled with contrasting thin and powerful strokes, endowed the line itself with expressive qualities. In his drawings, Rembrandt in particular achieved a complete mastery of ink-and-wash drawing, exhibiting highly subtle 3-D effects through the use of different stroke layers obtained through a combination of various pens and brushes.
The thin-lined drawing method of the early Renaissance regained its popularity during the era of Neoclassical art and Romanticism during late-18th and early-19th century. Both the Nazarenes and Romantics, for instance, achieved exceptional 3-D plastic effects by purely graphic means.
Another more pictorially oriented phase followed, culminating in the late 19th century work of artists like Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98) who applied the direct black-white contrast to planes, while in the 20th century the French masters Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Picasso reduced the object to a mere line without any depth or other spatial illusion. Many illustrators, as well as cartoonists favour the clear pen stroke. Other 20th century innovators of pen drawing include the American oriental artist Mark Tobey (1890-1976) who was famous for his 'white writing' style of calligraphic paintings; the German artist Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (1913-51), noted for his hair-thin graphic seismograms; and Agnes Martin (1912-2004), noted for her delicate hand-drawn minimalist grids.
The brush is ideal for applying pigments to a flat surface (painting) but it has also been used in drawing since prehistoric times. In addition to the above-mentioned drawing inks - all of which have been used in conjunction with brush as well as pen - brush drawings have also been created with combinations of fluids. One of the most common artistic techniques in use from Classical Greek art to the Baroque was Sinopia, the normal preliminary sketch for a monumental mural painting. Executed with a brush, it has all the characteristics of a preparatory drawing.
In general however, few drawings were done exclusively with a brush, although it played a major role in landscapes, in which, by tinting of varying intensity, it offered a complete spectrum of spatial depth and strength of lighting. The Venetians Vittore Carpaccio (c.1465-1525/6) and Palma il Giovane (1544-1628), as well as Parmigianino (1503-40), the great pioneer of Mannerism, were all noted exponents of the technique. Some Dutch genre painters, like Adriaen Brouwer (1605-38), Adriaen van Ostade (1610-84), and Jan Steen (1625-79) used the brush to create a number of watercolour-style drawings. During the 18th century, the brush drawings of Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806) and the Spaniard Francisco Goya (1746-28) raised the art to a new height, while in England artists like Alexander Cozens (1717-86), John Constable (1776-1837), and J.M.W, Turner (1775-1851), took advantage of brush drawing for their landscape studies.
A popular combination is that of pen and brush, with the pen delineating the contours that denote the object and the brush providing spatial and colour values. The simplest combined application of this was manuscript illumination, where the shapes were drawn in pen and duly filled with colour, using the brush. Other examples of brush-and-pen include the application of white pigment to drawings on tinted paper, the accenting of illumination (how light falls on objects), and, of course, washes. The method of combined pen and-brush drawing was especially popular with the draftsmen of Germany and the Netherlands, especially in the circle around Durer and the south German Danube School.
By far the largest number of art drawings in the Western world deal with the human figure.
Figurative Genre Works
One can draw on almost anything that has a plane surface - level or not - including papyrus and parchment, cloth, animal skin, wood, metals and glass. However, since the mid-15th century, paper has been the most common and most popular ground.
The method of paper manufacturing has remained practically unchanged for the past 2,000 years. A fibrous pulpy remnant of mulberry bark, bast, hemp, and linen rags is pressed, and dried in flat molds. (The introduction of wood pulp in the mid-19th century was not aimed at art paper, because paper with a large wood content yellows quickly and is therefore ill-suited for drawing purposes. Originally, to give the paper a sufficiently smooth and even surface for writing or drawing, it was rubbed with bone meal, or gypsum chalk in a very thin solution of glue and gum arabic. But since the late 15th century, the same effect has been achieved by dipping the paper in a glue or alum bath. Pigments and dyes, too, were added to the pulp, with blue "Venetian papers" being especially popular. The 17th century favoured half tints of blue - or grey, brown, and green varieties; the 18th preferred warm colours like beige or ivory, along with blue. Since the 18th century, drawing papers have been produced in almost every conceivable colour and shade, while quality has also greatly increased.
Granulated and softer drawing implements, such as chalk, charcoal, and graphite are not as dependent on a particular type of paper (as, watercolours, pastels or pen and ink); but, because of their slight adhesiveness, they often need a stronger bond with the foundation as well as some kind of surface protection.
In Western art, the history of drawing as a stand-alone artistic document, rather than merely a preliminary sketch for something else, began towards the end of the 14th century. Not surprisingly, the greatest draftsmen have also been distinguished painters, illustrators, graphic artists, or printmakers, thus the centres of drawing and periods of greatest activity have generally coincided with the centres and epochs of other types of fine art.
In drawings from north of the Alps, the most accomplished early draftsmen are the otherwise unidentified late 15th-century German Master of the Housebook (so-called from a number of drawings contained in a housebook discovered in Castle Wolfegg) and his contemporary Martin Schongauer (1430-91). The younger Durer then exemplified the creative precision and methodology in draughtsmanship that characterizes the German Renaissance. An indefatigable draftsman, he mastered all techniques and exercised an enduring and widespread influence. The landscape drawings of Durer as well as those by Altdorfer and Huber demonstrate an astonishing feeling for nature that might almost be called Romantic. The humanistic portrait drawings of Hans Holbein the Younger, also had a significant impact on contemporaries, as did the stricter linearity of the portraits of the French father and son, Jean (1485-1540) and Francois (1510-72) Clouet.
Meanwhile, south of the Alps, drawing was undergoing an even more revolutionary phase as part of the Italian Renaissance.
How the Italian Renaissance Influenced Drawing
Until the fourteenth century, drawing was rarely valued as an art form in itself. Instead it was seen merely as a preliminary design for a painting or a sculpture. The Italian painter Cennini (c.1369-1440) endowed it with a certain respect by describing it as the gateway to successful painting, but it wasn't until the arrival of Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, a century later, (along with wider availabilty of paper), that it became an independent art form. For details, see: Best Drawings of the Renaissance.
The early Italian Renaissance witnessed significant developments in the mastery of perspective in both drawing and painting.
All naturalistic art with any form of background subject needs depth. That is, the background must appear distant, relative to the foreground. The term linear perspective denotes this creation of depth whereby background images in a flat drawing appear further away. Control of the 'vanishing point', the convergence of lines from the artist's viewpoint, is critical. Italian Renaissance draftsmen who pioneered the rules of linear perspective include: Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), Piero della Francesca (1420-92), in his painting The Flagellation of Christ (c.1470), Raphael (1483-1520) in his work The School of Athens (c.1509).
Early Renaissance Artists (c.1400-90)
The 15th century Italian Renaissance witnessed a huge amount of experimentation with differing media and supports. Here is a brief list of Italian draftsmen and their drawings.
Fra Angelico used pen and ink wash for The Prophet David Playing a Psaltery (1430), now in the British Museum, London; Antonio Pisanello used pen and ink, watercolour. white gouache and traces of black chalk or metalpoint for his Wild Boar (1434, Louvre); Jacopo Bellini used leadpoint for The Vision of St Eustace (1445, British Museum, London); Fra Filippo Lippi used metalpoint and brown wash over black chalk, heightened with white on salmon-coloured prepared paper for his Female Saint, Standing (c.1440, British Museum); Benozzo Gozzoli used white highlighting and brown gouache over metalpoint on ochre prepared paper for his Head of a Monk (1447, Musee Conde, Chantilly); Andrea Mantegna used pen and ink over traces of black chalk to create A Man Lying on a Stone Slab (1470s, British Museum); Andrea del Verrocchio used pen and ink for his Five Studies of Infants (1470s, Louvre); Sandro Botticelli used pen and ink and faint brown wash over black chalk on pink-tinted paper, heightened with white to create Abundance or Autumn (1480s, British Museum). See also: Renaissance in Florence.
High Renaissance Artists (c.1490-1530)
Luca Signorelli used black, red and white chalks, squared in black chalk and brown ink for his Study for The Moneylender in the Orvieto Antichrist (1500, Louvre); Leonardo Da Vinci used a brush with grey tempera and white highlighting, traces of brush and black ink on linen to create Drapery Study for a Seated Figure (1470s, Louvre); he used pen and ink over traces of stylus and leadpoint to produce Adoration of the Magi (1481), and black, red and ochre chalks with white highlighting for his Portrait of Isabella d'Este (1499); Michelangelo used red chalk for his drawings Studies on Haman's Torso (1511, British Museum), Study for Adam (c.1511, British Museum); and black chalk with traces of white over stylus for his drawings of Ignudo (c.1511) and over pen and ink wash to create The Prophet David Playing a Psaltery (1430, British Museum); Raphael used red chalk for Studies for the Alba Madonna (1509), black chalk for Study for the Altarpiece of St Nicholas of Tolentino (1500) and metalpoint for Heads of the Virgin and Child (1504). See also: Renaissance in Rome.
Late Renaissance drawing of the Mannerist period (c.1520-1600) was exemplified by Jacopo Pontormo (1494-1556) in Florence, Parmigianino (1503-40) in northern Italy, and Tintoretto (1518-94) in Venice - all of whom used metalpoint and pen as essential vehicles of expression. Their drawings were closely related to their painting, both in content and in the graphic method of sensitive contouring and daring foreshortening. See also: Renaissance in Venice.
17th Century/18th Century
In the early part of the 17th century, Jacques Callot (1592-1635) rose to prominence in French art, not least for his graphic illustrations of the Thirty Years War. In Flemish Antwerp, Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) produced a host of studies and sketches which form an integral part of his creative output. In order to propagate his pictorial themes, he maintained his own school for draftsmen and engravers, whose pupils included Jacob Jordaens and Anthony Van Dyck. The Dutch artist Hercules Seghers (1590-after 1633) was hugely inventive in his interpretations of Old Testament motifs, and broad mastery of all the techniques of drawing. Most painters of the 17th century Dutch Golden Age, including Brouwer, Van Ostade, Pieter Saenredam (1597-1665), Paulus Potter (1625-54), and the incomparable Rembrandt (1606-69), were also inveterate draftsmen who recorded their thematic ideas in drawings that were mostly completed. In 17th-century Italy, drawing was fully established in the curricula of the Fine Arts Academies, notably in Bologna, Florence and Rome. Also significant, was the ongoing development of landscape drawing, as initiated by the Carracci brothers, Domenichino and Salvator Rosa (1615-73). The Rome-based French painter Claude Lorrain went further and virtually created his own genre of open air Italian landscape art. This plein-air drawing was practiced also by the French classicist Nicolas Poussin, and the Dutch artists Jan Asselyn (1610-52), Claes Berchem (1620-83), and Karel Dujardin (1622-78), among others.
In France, Jean-Antoine Watteau, like many others, did drawings to "keep his hand in" for his painting: most of the figures in his paintings were based on earlier drawings. More energetic were the 18th century artists Francois Boucher, Jean-Honore Fragonard, Hubert Robert, and Gabriel de Saint-Aubin, whose drawings embraced landscapes, figurative studies, and genre-like works.
In 18th century Venice, Canaletto's exceptional architectural drawings of the city were followed by a set of luminaristic pen and brush drawings by Giambattista Tiepolo (1692-1770) and his family. The architect Giambatttista Piranesi then produced his powerful drawings of building interiors and eerie vaults ("Carceri"). At the end of the 18th century, the Spanish artist Goya produced his innovative brush-and-sanguine drawings combining the luminaristic effects of Tiepolo's drawings with the drama of Rembrandt-style chiaroscuro.
The early-19th century produced a drawing style that reemphasized the linear element. One of its great masters was the academic painter J-A-D Ingres (1780-1867). The German Nazarenes, as well as Romantics like Philipp Otto Runge (1777-1810) and Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) were only slightly less rigorous in the use of the hardpoint. Other linear-inclined draftsmen included the English Pre-Raphaelite John Millais (1829-96)the American realist Thomas Eakins (1844-1916), as well as Paris-based masters like Picasso, Matisse, and Modigliani. Meanwhile the drawings of Daumier employed pictorial chiaroscuro effects to make forceful statements of social criticism.
In fact France in general, and Paris in particular, continued to be a leading centre of the art of drawing, a form that was exemplified in the outstandingly inventive works of Degas (1834-1917), Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), Van Gogh (1853-90), and Cezanne (1839-1906). The Art Nouveau idiom with its sinuous lines, and non-geometric curves was exemplified in the drawings of Aubrey Beardsley.
German Expressionist artists evolved particularly emphatic styles of drawing with powerful delineation and exaggerated forms. Notable examples can be found in the works of Ernst Barlach (1870-1938), Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945), Alfred Kubin, Ernest Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884-1976), Max Beckmann (1884-1950), Oscar Kokoschka (1886-1980), and George Grosz. Other drawing highlights included the abstract compositions of Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), the sublime pen and ink drawings of Paul Klee (1879-1940), and the figurative works of the Austrian virtuoso Egon Schiele (1890-1918), along with his contemporary counterpart Lucian Freud (b.1922). Drawing was particularly important in the work of the painters of the Ecole de Paris, such as Pierre Soulages (b.1919) and Hans Hartung (1904-89). Of course the most prolific draftsman of the Paris School was Pablo Picasso, an artist who knew exactly how to make use of its diverse technical possibilities. He is arguably the greatest draftsman of the 20th century and one of the greatest in the history of art.