Why pictures?

A good deal of my time is spent drawing and painting. The activity is quite different from historical reading and writing, but there is a connection.

The visual world of early modern Europe was powerful and very much part of the culture. One only has to think of the portraits, the buildings, the clothes. Visual awareness is not scholarship but it is a manner of thinking and throws a light on these centuries.

The drawings I have put here are sketches. Or studies. Actually they are something like doodles, done rather quickly but more than fragments. If they look intensively worked - they are drawings from observation - that only shows that sketches can be an intense experience.

Doing drawings like this is way of relaxing mentally, just as going to the gymn is a way of relaxing physically. You put in a lot of effort, you are tired afterwards, then you feel better. Work-outs for the imagination, or whatever. In any case very much part of my world.

Drawing on the Past