Abstract

Late in his life Rodin produced many thousand “instant drawings.” He asked models to make natural energetic movements, and he would draw them at high speed without looking at his hand or paper. To help understand his “blind drawing” process, the authors tracked the eye and hand movements of art students while they drew blind, copying complex lines presented to them as static images. The study found that line shape was correctly reproduced, but scaling could show major deficiencies not seen in Rodin's sketches. The authors propose that Rodin's direct vision-to-motor strategy, coupled with his high expertise, allowed him to accurately depict in one sweep the entire model, without “thoughts arresting the flow of sensations.”

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