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Telltale signs of a young artist

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Elephant in a Landscape

A drawing of an elephant by another Giovanni, with additions by that little jerk Neto. Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Elephant in a Landscape, not dated.

We tend to believe that artists are born brilliant, that their talent is evident from childhood. Vasari was enthralled by the story of Giotto’s gifts being discovered when the young shepherd was seen sketching sheep on the ground with a stick — so much so that he also used it in his biographies of Domenico Beccafumi, Andrea Sansovino, and Andrea del Castagno.

But if you look at the walls of any day care center, it’s obvious that all children draw sheep, and at pretty much the same skill level; it’s only in retrospect that we endow one kid’s doodles with evidence of her incipient talent.

READ THE STORY IN HYPERALLERGIC

Filed under: Art

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