American born Daniel Graves is the founder-director of the Florence Academy of Art (FAA, estb.1991), Italy, a globally reputed school of classical aesthetics and art education. An alumnus of the Maryland Institute of Art and Villa Schifanoia Graduate School of Fine Art, Florence, Graves, who moved to Florence in the late 1970s, has innovated a school of oil painting that blends the Florentine tradition with classical realism.
Newspeg. Graves is in Delhi to offer art enthusiasts a six-week workshop under a partnership agreement with Rishabh Art Studio (RAS), promoted by well-known oil and portrait artist Rishabh Sud. Workshop fee: Rs.2.21 lakh.
History. Florence is known as the “cradle of the Renaissance” and was the birthplace of High Renaissance art, from 1450-1527. Therefore, the FAA curriculum is derived from the classical-realist tradition rooted in the 19th century (exemplified by French Academies in the pedagogies of master painters Gerome, Bonnat and Carlos Duran).
“We will start by offering short-term workshops for artists of all levels — beginners to advanced. In collaboration with RAS, we intend to create an environment of true learning and sharing as a community of artists with similar interests and varied human experiences,” says Graves.
According to Rishabh Sud, an alumnus of Barton Tafe, Melbourne and Angel Academy of Arts, Florence, workshops held at RAS will provide students of all levels the opportunity to develop powers of draftsmanship, study works of Old Masters and acquire deep, practical understanding of art materials and methods.
Direct talk. Graves believes that every individual is a born artist and the skills of drawing and observation can be learned through training and practice. “There is really no age to learn painting. All you need is an appreciative mindset and inclination to learn. The short-term courses offered by RAS will help students build their portfolios to apply for admission into art institutes around the world. Moreover, for advanced learners and professional artists who always wanted to learn classical art of the Old Masters but could not, this is a great opportunity for them to develop their skills,” he explains.
Future plans. With rising incomes and awareness, more people are exploring opportunities to express themselves through art. “With this initiative, we have made a start. Hopefully, our workshops will multiply and create a pool of artists, who will not only explore exotic India but also create memorable images of the real India,” says Sud.
Autar Nehru (Delhi)