Daniel Graves will speak on the history of academic training in the visual arts, with reference to how painters and sculptors were trained in ancient Greece, during the Renaissance and in the 18 & 19th century academies, and will explore the reasons for its demise in the 20th century. Graves will show the art of the masters who inspire students at The Florence Academy of Art, and describe through examples of student artwork how the Florence Academy has recomposed the methodology of the 19th century academies to produce figurative works of contemporary significance. He will conclude with a reflection on how this training is relevant to painting and sculpture today.
Daniel Graves graduated from the Maryland Art Institute in 1972 where he studied with Joseph Shepard and Frank Russell. He traveled to Florence in the 70’s in search of the techniques of those masters who inspired him most: Rembrandt, Titian, Velasquez, and also the French academic painters. There he found a personal style that fuses the richness of 19h century Italian painting with academic draftsmanship. He continued his education at the Villa Schifanoia Graduate School of Fine Art with Richard Serrin, and studied under Nerina Simi, daughter of the Florentine painter, Filadelfo Simi, a student of Gérôme. In 1984, along with Charles Cecil, he opened Studio Cecil-Graves. Daniel Graves went on to found The Florence Academy of Art in 1991 to keep the tradition of great painting and sculpture alive.