Art Apprenticeship – Karabi Art
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Art Apprenticeship

Art Apprenticeship

Art education is not restricted to the formal set up in art schools or institutes. Professional artists of repute are known to disseminate their learning in a private or semi-private setup, mostly in their own studios. It is from this group of students that the artists are known to offer apprenticeship to some who get to learn from the artist while assisting the artist in their professional work. Maestros like Gustave Moreau are known to have apprentices like Picasso and Braque and taught them by employing Atelier Method. These apprentices then went on to become legends themselves.


The atelier method, a customary vocational practice for European artists from the Middle Ages up to 19th century was common everywhere in the world. It primarily refers to the private studio or workshop of an artist where the maestro works with assistants, interns, and apprentices to produce pieces of fine art accredited to and supervised by the maestro. This is a method where apprentices learn the trade, skill or art in the same fashion as the guilds of goldsmiths or stonemasons.


During the free time the maestros would impart formal training in art workshops, homes or outdoors. In these ateliers the apprentices would learn the skills and techniques from the artist maestros, forming a relationship that was governed by guild statutes. An apprentice who was clothed and fed by the maestro, often paid them in the beginning of the apprenticeship. It was only if the apprenticeship was productive that the apprentice was compensated in the later stages of his training.


As a practice, learning to draw was a priority. Michelangelo required the young apprentices to practice the skill of drawing for an entire year. The next phase consisted of six years spent in grinding colors, preparing panels and using gold leaf, all the while continuing the study of drawing. The final phase of six years would then be dedicated to master fresco and tempera painting.

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