Artists' Models

Artists' Models

An art model is a model who poses for any visual artist as part of the creative process. The most common types of art works which use models are figure drawing, figure painting, sculpture and photography, but almost any medium may be used.

Art models are often paid professionals who pose or provide the human figure in a work of art. Though professional, art models are usually anonymous and unacknowledged subjects of the work. Models are most frequently employed for art classes or by informal groups of experienced artists that gather to share the expense of a model. Models are also employed privately by professional artists. Although commercial motives dominate over aesthetics in illustration, its artwork commonly employs models. For example, Norman Rockwell used his friends and neighbors as models for both his commercial and fine art work. An individual who is having their own portrait painted or sculpted is usually called a "sitter" rather than a model, since they are paying to have the work done rather than being paid to pose.

Throughout the history of Western art, drawing the human figure from living models was considered the most effective way to develop the skill of draftsmanship. First, it is best to draw from real objects, rather than copying two dimensional images. Second, an artist has a connection to drawing another human being that cannot exist with any other subject. Models for life drawing classes are usually nude, to provide for an unobstructed anatomical study. This may be referred to as being "undraped" or "disrobed". Art models who pose in the nude for life drawing are also called life models or figure models. In the classroom setting, where the purpose is to learn how to draw the human form in all the different shapes, ages and ethnicity, there are no real limitations on who the model can be. In some cases, the model may pose with various props, one or more other models, against real or artificial background, in natural or artificial light and so on.

The role of art models has changed through different eras as the meaning and importance of the human figure in art and society has changed. More than being simply the subject of art, models are often thought of as muses, a source of inspiration without whom the art would not exist. Nude modeling, nude art and nudity in general are at times subject to social disapproval, at least by some elements in society.

Read more about Artists' Models:  Posing, Training and Selection, History

Other articles related to "models":

Artists' Models - History
... of the gymnasium, had far less need of professional models than the moderns but it is scarcely likely that they could have attained the high level reached by ... It was probably in Ancient Greece that models were first used ... beautiful virgins of the city of Crotone offered him as models for his picture of Helen, proves their occasional use ...

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