The Passion of Collecting Academic Nudes

Join me as we explore my collection of Academic Nudes from the 18th, 19th, and Early 20th Centuries and serendipitous finds in the Museum, Art Auction, and Gallery world......examples from the Golden Age of the European Academie

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Review: Alla Prima by Richard Schmid

Title: Alla Prima, Everything I Know About Painting
Author: Richard Schmid
Publisher: Stove Prairie Press, LLC
South Burlington, VT
ISBN: 0-9662117-3-1

In the last post I threw out a painting term, all prima, that brought to mind one of my favorite painting instruction books: Alla Prima by Richard Schmid. Alla prima or au premier coup means "direct painting" or "painting from life." Alla prima is, according to Schmid, the ultimate in representational art because it is "about real experience and demands the highest level of skill." (Apply this to 19th century academic training and you have the very definition of "the Academie."). If you would like to learn more about all prima painting techniques, then I highly recommend this book. Schmidt covers the entire subject matter in terms of his own experience and passes along some very valuable lessions without making them "rules" to live by. The volume is a bit on the expensive side but worth the investment. Available from

Here are just a few of the many color illustrations in this book:

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