Hieratic vs.Gestural Drawing Styles – Zadkine

‘Busker – sculptor on the streets’
A5 sketchbook 


This sculptor carving on the streets on market day (else he’d get moved on by the gendarmes) at Castillonnés. 

Drawing ‘sur la vif’ moving targets. I’ve observed one tendancy , that which I call my ‘Hieratic Style’, as if an Egpytian or Modernist freeze ‘à la Zadkine’. It’s stylised & anti-illusionistic.

Static, it’s the oppostite of the gestural or the dynamic…

Just an observation, these drawings happen so quickly, less than a few minutes, so not much time to think, just draw.


“It was primarily written in ink with a reed brush on papyrus, allowing scribes to write quickly without resorting to the time-consuming hieroglyphs” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieratic





Also, hi·er·at·i·cal. of or pertaining to priests or the priesthood; sacerdotal; priestly.

noting or pertaining to a form of ancient Egyptian writing consisting of abridged forms of hieroglyphics, used by the priests in their records.

noting or pertaining to certain styles in art in which the representations or methods are fixed by or as if by religious tradition.

highly restrained or severe in emotional import: Some of the more hieratic sculptures leave the viewer curiously unmoved.” http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hieratic 





BTW, Zadkine ‘retired’ from Paris to the deepest countryside of SW France in the Lot at a little village called Les Arques. Not far from me. Great place to visit.




Sept calligrammes d’Apollinaire
Portfolio original, “Sept Calligrammes d’Apollinaire”, contenant 10 gravures originales, chacune signée au crayon par l’artiste. Ed. Czwiklitzer.



3 Comments on “Hieratic vs.Gestural Drawing Styles – Zadkine

  1.  by  boguy

    Hello Adam,
    Nous prenons des cours d’anglais à Sarlat et nous nous sommes servi de ton blog ( la page CV et la définition de l’aquarelle) pour travailler en traduction, en màeme temps on profite aussi des oeuvres.
    Je ne suis pas encore assez doué pour écrire en anglais mais peut être aurons nous des questions à te poser principalement sur ton article sur la paralaxe.Reviens tu à Sarlat cet été ? Si tu réponds fais le en anglais, merci,

  2.  by  boguy

    Hello Adam,
    We take English courses to Sarlat and we used(got) your blog (the CV page and the definition of the watercolor) to work in translation, it màeme time(weather) we also take advantage of works.
    I am endowed still not enough to write in English but can be shall have we questions to rest(pose) you mainly on your article on the paralaxe. Return you to Sarlat this summer? If you answer make in English, thank you,

  3.  by  Adam Cope

    Bonjour Boguy

    Joyeuse Paques 🙂

    Well I hope my english is good enough to translate! It must certainly be better than my french, which I regret to have never studied at School 🙁

    I should go like you to language classes. Most remiss of me. L’Alliance Francaise to the rescue!

    I wish you all the best with your translation. What an honour that of all the writing in English you should have choosen that!

    Maybe you could send me a copy of it so that I could build a parallel web-site in french? That would be of great help to me as I’m painfully aware that many of the visitors to my web site are french speaking. Regrettably I don’t have enough french language skills to write in French. I really should… as France is my adoptive country. I love France, the people & the way of life very much but not to properly speak, read & write the language

    Je suis content que t’as lu ma poste concernante ‘Parralax’ 🙂 Tes pris en vue sont maqnifiques & c’est visblement évident que tu comprneds trés bien le importance de parralax. Dans mes expériences commme prof, en tran de regardait les gens peindre, je constate que les plus part des peinture évitent les subtitlités de parralax et simplifient leurs images en tant des elevations trés simples et frontales.

    Je n’expose pas à Sarlat cet année mais j’éspère de le faire l’année prochaine.

    Visit moi en 47 si jamais tu est dans le coin.