Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tracing is Period & Good!

Pardon folks, but I'm a little fired up over something, and need to rant about it.

I often see new scribes who have been told or feel they must create original art, or that tracing from period sources is frowned upon or not allowed. Excuse me? There are so many things wrong with this idea that I'm having a hard time figuring out where to start... Oh... I know! Let's start with the fact that:

Tracing is a period technique!

Cennino Cennini provides methods for tracing and talks about why it is desired in his 15th century treatise, Il Libro dell'Arte.

"Chapter 27 - How you should contrive to copy and draw after as few masters as possible.  
... strive and delight always to copy the best things that you can find, made by the hand of great masters. And if you are in a place where there have been many good masters, so much the better for you. But I give you this advice: be careful always to pick out the best and the one that has the best reputation. And if, day in and day out, you follow one like that it will be odd if nothing of his style and manner rubs off on you."
-Broecke, Lara. (2015) Cennino Cennini's Il Libro dell'Arte: A new English translation and commentary with Italian transcription. London England: Archetype Publications. p. 47