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18 May 2011

Florence Academy of Art

The Florence Academy of Art was founded in 1991 by Daniel Graves to provide the highest level of instruction in classical drawing, painting and sculpture. Graves' vision of the Academy is its potential to train a select group of highly skilled Realist painters and sculptors.

It is the view of this Academy that throughout the 20th century the prominent movements of art have steadily drawn attention (and teaching) away from close observation of the material world and the acquisition of strong technical skills, to a position where cohesive artistic thought is inexorably fragmented by the urge towards greater individual expression. The result is a creative environment in which the visual arts are adrift, with few tangible points of reference and little to say that is of continuing importance or depth.

The philosophy of The Florence Academy of Art demands a return to discipline in art, to timeless classical canons of beauty and to the study of nature as the foundation for great painting. The Academy therefore provides students with the opportunity to explore distinctive aspects of their chosen subject through the development of considerable powers of draughtsmanship, direct study of works of the Old Masters and a deep, practical understanding of the materials and methods of the artist. By this means, and through the resulting identification of clear artistic objectives, students acquire creative self-confidence, visual understanding an subtle and precise powers of description.

Study at the Academy centers upon the importance of drawing (particularly drawing from the human figure) as a means to perfection in painting or sculpture.

Through intense observation students acquire a visual literacy which enables them to interpret humanist values in their work, and ultimately, create a work of universal relevance.

The program, like that of the French Academies, is based upon systematic progression through the classical disciplines, interpreting the basic elements of composition, form, color harmony and expression. Advancement to each level of study is dependent upon successful completion of the previous level. In this way, the program is carefully matched to each individual and not imposed in a 'study group' context.

In summary, the Academy aims to train artists who:

  • can draw to a very high standard

  • can execute works in painting or sculpture to high levels of professional craftsmanship

  • have a deep understanding of the works and methods of the Old Masters

  • have a sound awareness of commercial practices in Fine Art

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