The undressed art: why we draw

Front Cover
Knopf, Jun 15, 2004 - Art - 259 pages
We all draw as children: we scrawl a sunbeamed circle for a face and dots for eyes, and then we move on to portraits of Mom with an upside-down U for hair and Dad with trousers up to his armpits. But sooner or later, almost everyone stops. In this delightful, revelatory book, Peter Steinhart explores why some of us keep on drawingand what happens when we do. Combining the scientific, the historical, the anecdotal and the personal with marvelous ease, Steinhart asks some provocative questions: Why do drawings often speak to us more eloquently than paintings? What is the mind doing when we draw? Why is so much drawing of the face and of the nude figure? What is the dynamic between a clothed artist and a naked model? Steinhart makes clear that, at its best, drawing is a spontaneous expression of what we see, an "undressed art" unencumbered by affectation or calculated fashion. And he reveals its many rewards: it helps us to focus, to slow down, and to really see the world and ourselves. At once erudite and engaging,The Undressed Artilluminates the allures and joys of a familiar artand inspires us to pick up a pencil and draw.

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User Review  - drbrendan - LibraryThing

Peter Steinhart wrote a comprehensive review of nude Drawing classes (NDC). It is a classic. He discusses the character of NDC from many perspectives with depth and intelligence. Read full review

The undressed art: why we draw

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this meditation on the meaning of drawing (primarily figure drawing from the nude), naturalist/journalist Steinhart brings a measure of science to understanding the perceptions and actions that ... Read full review


one Allure
two Ritual
twelve Pictures

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About the author (2004)

Peter Steinhart is a naturalist and a writer. For twelve years he was an editor and columnist at Audubon, and his work has appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones and Sierra. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award, and his essays have been widely anthologized. He has published four books, the most recent of which is The Company of Wolves. He lives and draws in Palo Alto, California.

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