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1 0f 3 David Hockney, The Lost Secrets of the Old Masters: camera lucida obscura

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Learn more at https://drawlucy.com/pages/history This is a very interesting interview with David Hockney, where he explains and demonstrates the use of camera obscuras and camera lucidas in the artwork of the Old Masters chronicled in his book Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters.
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Text Comments (27)
Fenristripplex (4 months ago)
David Hackney.
sara s (6 months ago)
Why does the host look angry? You are learning history, so just appreciate it.
Elizabeth Long (10 months ago)
"◔◔¨ * ..thank you ;''';
Kurt Pedersen (1 year ago)
It's my tradition at the nc museums gift shops to blow a was of cash on goodies
Kurt Pedersen (1 year ago)
There was a Matsuyama miss exhibit at nc museum of art in Raleigh nc really they have always been concerned with optics so there is also several Mona Lisa's upside down check them out the optics
Buffy Eliot (3 years ago)
Those interested should check out the movie Tim's Vermeer (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3089388/) where Inventor Tim Jenison, with no prior painting skills, replicated the techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer...including some of the effects only visible if an optical tool was used in making the painting.
wildwest100 (5 years ago)
It is so funny looking at the comments here making people really angry and insulting to David Hockney. I have tried some of his experiments and they work! Artists are and were in the business to make money, and something which could help in the process would be used I am sure. There are even some almost racist comments about his English accent. I have read his book and see what he is getting at. Most artists are not geniuses, but normal people maybe with special skills. It is obvious that the technology he is talking about was known at the time he is suggesting it could have been used, so I think he is talking sense, even if it upsets people. Look in any art store and see what is available. I think you will find projectors and the like. People were no different in the past than they are now, and would use technology to help when they could. 
johndoe121213 (5 years ago)
interesting video
Sergio Lobato (5 years ago)
A 3rd rate painter and illustrator not understanding the ability of true observation and the true genius of the masters.
TheStockwell (5 years ago)
It's a fine theory, I guess. However, it only explains small works, mostly drawings. It can't explain huge works like The Sistine Chapel, where mechanical devices would've been useless to Michaelangelo - an artist who had imagination and technical ability. And what about sculpture? How do you explain the realism of Greek sculpture of 2,000 years ago? Or student drawings that show, say, Klimt mastering the craft of drawing what's sitting in front of him? Interesting theory - but full of holes.
Rem rob (5 years ago)
I agree with you 100% as an oil painter myself. When you look through a camera obscura, or a picture the image you see is twice as bad as if you observed directly. By the time your eye sees a picture of what a camera saw the quality is substantially less than looking through just one filter (your eye). But when you see a painting like Vermeers: The Milkmaid It makes you wonder, perhaps he was looking at a camera obscura to aid in the layout, and then did the over painting from direct observation
scotty (6 years ago)
David Hockney has done a great thing in bringing this to light. It ought to have been openly admitted early on. You're a fool if you don't take advantage of every tool at your disposal and to think artists were either ignorant or so egotistical and prideful that they wouldn't take advantage of whatever helpful tech they could get their hands on is dumb. The odd thing is it isn't openly admitted and written about, why the secrecy? Trade secrets?
trbickle (6 years ago)
What a disgusting comment.
Vercingetorix (6 years ago)
It would have saved them an immense amount of time, energy and money to use techniques like this. Sitters would have been able to relax after the initial outlines had been pencilled in and the artist would be able to concentrate on the painting, which would have been invaluable to artists on a tight schedule. Simple portraits (perhaps you mean caricatures?) are vastly different to large scale paintings that had to look real.
Gregory Whoee (7 years ago)
Thoroughout the 1980's used to draw quick little portraits of asian tourists $1-2 dollars a shot. Had to do at least 2-300 per day to make a profit. small cheap. Now why would you want to waste time on a camera lucida or camera obscura if ones hand is far far more freer and dexterous. stupid reasoning from a silly little queer englishman. -greg hoey
Gregory Whoee (7 years ago)
Hockneys a desperate wannabe big time artist , when deep down he knows he aint [which is why he wants to run down others]. its a big time beat up over nothing much. this so-called secret knowledge has been round for ever. why would a painter want to paint in a dark room all day, when hand dexterity was far quicker and superior and less hard on eye? hockney is an all time fuckin idiot -greg hoey
Lottechoco (7 years ago)
ignorant man. There is a method to producing realist art without camera or projection, it's better than camera infact. Camera is an idiot. The method takes a lot of hard work and study. Architects, industrial designers know some of this technique. How do hockney explain the painting and drawing of moving animals, moving people in a imagined scene?
JackANDJude (8 years ago)
@goldsmithexile Well said. I agree.
Jerry Sharitz (8 years ago)
Hockney is mediocre at best. He is the Kim Kardashian of painting, famous for no reason.
Bradford Stearman (8 years ago)
JRHockney (8 years ago)
Never met this guy. My Dad has, but I'm not sure I see much family resemblance ;)
theripper7675 (8 years ago)
i agree david
bluegoose555 (8 years ago)
@yocanbanconit your ignorance is utterly appalling.It would be prudent for you to investigate his career before you spew forth such rubbish? Inabilty to draw or paint? Disdain of the Old Masters? This book was published back in 2001. A well researched, presented and objective study of the art historical use of optics. My quote of the day for you is" It is better to keep ones mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt". What a shocker....try visiting a library sometime.
@milesmathis to see both side people should take a look at this too: youtube (dot com) /watch?v=450pvHhH3Zg
@BeaDylan November 30, 2001
BeaDylan (9 years ago)
when was this interview taken?

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