Art Making | Drawing from the Collections: Drawing a Landscape with Pastel

The Art Museum is partnering with the Arts Council of Princeton to provide free online pastel drawing classes. Weekly classes are taught by artist-instructor Barbara DiLorenzo over Zoom. With an emphasis on using soft pastels to blend and create rich colors, each week’s lesson will be inspired by works in the Museum’s collections.

This live art-making class is inspired by Robert S. Duncanson’s Untitled (Landscape). Duncanson was the first African American to achieve wide renown as an artist and to travel through Europe for artistic study. Close inspection of this painting reveals that the three diminutive figures at water’s edge have been rendered with discrete white, brown, and black skin tones. Though likely not intended to be widely recognized by viewers, the distinct coloration of the figures was nonetheless intentional. Their harmonious existence in an idealized landscape may represent the artist’s private, wishful rendition of the world as he hoped it might be.