Drapery

DEFINITION

Cloth or a representation of cloth arranged to hang in folds. This may be a curtain or a costume, or fabric used as a cover or as an object arranged as a passage in a composition. Just as the study of various means to representing the human figure is essential in the development of an artist's skills, so is the study of ways to represent drapery. Each is composed of curving surfaces reflecting gradations of colors. Each is essentially a set of loose folds of varying sizes, among which are occasional creases. Drapery varies amongst fabrics of different weights, textures, colors, and patterns, either hanging straight, disturbed by wind, or by parts of a body or an object in some relationship to it.Examples of drapery in art: Egypt, c. 1365-1349 BCE (reign of Amenhotep IV-Akhenaton, 18th dynasty), Body of Nefertiti (?), crystallised red sandstone, height 29 cm, Louvre. See Egyptian art and torso.Gerard David (Netherlandish, born about 1455, died 1523), The Rest on the Flight into Egypt, c. 1512-15, oil on wood panel, 20 x 17 inches (50.8 x 43.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See chiaroscuro, Madonna, Northern Renaissance, and vignette.

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