[Esquisse sketchbook]

Top spiral-bound sketchbook branded Esquisse, No 29, Made in France, 21 spirals, 54 leaves, containing:

Page 1: notes on cubism, “cubic rendering, first stage of Cubism not giving up perspective / 2nd stage planes very perpendicular to go paralell [sic] with picture plane overlapping. 1910 / 3rd stge [sic] planes tipping / Aspect of things is the result of things (not the real thing)”

Page 2: drawing of an interior

Page 3-4: notes made during visit to the Nymphenburg Palace near Munich [1930s]

Page 5: drawing of a figure with note “Jahr MARIA”

Page 5 overleaf: drawing, possibly a figure in a boat holding an oar

Page 6: drawing of a figure

Page 7: drawing of a figure with note “1280 gahre [sic jahre, German for year], presumed the date of the figure she has drawn

Page 8: notes on a visit to Bloomsbury Gallery, 3H Bloomsbury St, Bedford Square, W.C.1 [London, England], directions within Germany

Page 9-11: notes on recipes for gesso/primer

Page 12: note, “be careful not to get the head in the nude too large because it makes the appearance look like a dwarf”

Page 13: unknown markings

Page 14: drawings of figures with notes on viewing sculpture, “stone figure of soldier headless. / Mars = 2-3 Jahelnach / Christus Tempel b eining N.B.”

Page 15: drawing of a diagram and numbers referring to the Fibonacci Sequence or Golden Ratio

Page 16-21: notes from Atelier Monsieur [Jan] Darna, Paris [France]

Page 22: notes on the Russian alphabet

Page 23-24, 26, 30: drawings similar in style and subject to Untitled [Cubist Drawing of a Seated Man] [BC098]

Page 23 overleaf, 24 overleaf, 25: unknown markings

Page 27-29: blank

Page 31: unknown markings

Page 32: blank

Page 32 overleaf - 39 overleaf: sayings of Leonardo da Vinci [begins page 30, ends page 24], ending with note, “Copied at Madame Kalachnikoff's. Square Albin - Cachot, Paris. 1949.”

Page 40: drawing similar in style to French Landscape Drawing [BC100 / 100A]

Page 41-42: blank

Page 42 overleaf: drawings of landscape with the heading “German heads of the middle Ages”

Page 43 overleaf - 48 overleaf: notes and studies on movement and structure following the theories of Hans Hofmann taken from verbal instructions from E.D. Kinzinger. Transcribed in General Notes.

Page 49, 50: drawing of figures

49 overleaf, 50 overleaf, 52: drawings similar in style to French Landscape Drawing [BC100 / 100A]

Page 51: drawing of figures, numbered 149 and 692

Page 52 overleaf - 54: notes on German vocabulary

c. 1930 1939
Object type
Medium and materials
variable on paper
Place Made
France, Germany

Front cover LL Esquisse, No 29

Front cover LR printer's mark

Front cover parallel to right hand edge F Scales (followed by three illegible lines, probably part of an address), München, Bavaria


Donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand by H. F. V. Scales, 1979

Copyright Licence
Courtesy Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Reference no. MS-Papers-1893-2
Current Collection

Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand

Current Location

Wellington, New Zealand

General notes

An Esquisse branded sketchbook which accompanied Scales from France to Germany which she kept in her possession until 1979.

This sketchbook is part of the contents of a file with the reference number MS-Papers-1893-2, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand.

Page 14, drawings of figures with notes on viewing sculpture, “stone figure of soldier headless. / Mars = 2-3 Jahrh nach / Christus Tempel b eining N.B.” It is presumed Scales has noted artwork details for the sculpture she has drawn – Mars is the god of war, Jahrh nach Christus means "the year after Christ", Tempel translates to temple and eining to unit, possibly referring to a title, date, location and catalogue number.

Pages 16-21, notes from "Atelier Monsieur Darna, Paris", Jan Darna was a teacher Scales met in Paris. The notes are his opinions on various artists such as El Greco, John Constable, Michaelangelo and contemporary artists such as Maurice de Vlaminck, Gustave Courbet, Eugène Delacroix, Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso, among others. Full transcription reads:

Page 16: Atelier Monsieur Darna, Paris

I like le Greco best of all he is [one word illegible], and his colour is very beautiful. his early work, influenced by Italy is not so good as his later work done in Spain where you can see some lovely things in the galleries. One wonderful painting of his in the National Gallerie [sic] in London and it was on seeing that I first loved his colour.

I like Constable his colour is very beautiful but I do not like a large painting of his ??

Page 17: Michael Angelo has a beautiful wax model of "The Nativity"??? in the Royal Albert Museum. go to see that. it is the best modelling I have seen, though it is very small: "David" I do not like because it is cold: and an anatomical study! This fresco painting is very good indeed -  photograps [sic] - and postcards.

There are no very good painters today - Vlaminck is a good painter - he is a painter - Delacroix I like very much - and Courbet. but Courbet did not develop very much and

Page 18: Delacroix is a little too analatycal [sic] to be very good - Modigliani is a very very good painter - I like him.

Jebrico?? died very young. he was very clever and one of the best. he was thrown from his horse and killed.

Cezanne was a very good colourist, only he could not draw - his things are very very good - he is one of the few best!

Gaugin [sic] is good too, but he runs into decoration too much - Van Goch [sic] is very amusing

Page 19: but I like him very much and his coulor [sic] analysis is lovely! and well thought out!

Picasso - I do not like, (nor Braque) his drawing of feet in this one has no volume, nor have the hands in the other. and his colour is not good, it is one colour with greys added to it and that is not painting: his early studies are copies of el Greco, and the very early early "head with hat" a bad copie [sic] of Courbet! his is a trick.

Page 20: Buy coloured prints of El Greco and study them when you are away. and they will help more than anything. do not use too much white in your painting - and always paint a lot: do not do too black and white work: because you must cultivate colour and you can draw when you paint.

Mix your colour on your canvas and not on your pallet [sic]: always make your own canvases  and make the surface smooth

Page 21: not rough, so that you can paint quickly all over and at one time and thin put your paint on and leave it: do not worry it – 

Soutine is a very good painter –

Matisse I do not like: he is a watercolourist he puts green and violet together - anyone can do that!

One of the best artists of the present day is Roult [sic Roualt]! (a Frenchman)

Pages 32 overleaf - 39 overleaf, sayings of Leonardo da Vinci begins page 39, ends page 31 and are written on overleaf pages. Page 32 overleaf ends with note, “Copied at Madame Kalachnikoff's. Square Albin - Cachot, Paris. 1949.” referring to Madame Kalachnikoff's address, 10 square Albin Cachot, 13ème, 75013, Paris, France, where Flora Scales resided 13 November 1965 - 29 May 1966. Full transcription reads:

Page 39 overleaf: Sayings of Leonardo da Vinci

Unfortunate pupil who canst not surpass thy master. Doest thou not know our souls are made of harmonies 

Thou, oh Lord. Thou sellest man all that is worth having for the mere price of his efforts.

Many people are nothing but canals through which food passes. They should be called makers of manure and fillers of cesspools for that is all they do in this world. They practise no virtue and all they leave behind is an overflowing latrine.

Oh if a man be virtuous banish him not, but honour him in order that he may have no reason to depart from you. If you encounter such men honour them for they are the gods of this earth and deserve worship as much as the

Page 38 overleaf: 2

sacred statues and images.  

There is the same reletation [sic relation] between falsehood and truth as between darkness and light. Truth is so precious in its essence that even when applied to a petty or common - place topic it infinitely surpasses uncertain and false sophistries and rises above even great and sublime flights of oratory. For our mind, though falsehood forms its fifth part, yet considers truth as its sovereign nourishment. 

The works of nature are far more worthy than mere speech, which is made by man. Between what is human and what is natural there is as great

Page 37 overleaf: 3

a gap as that which separates man from God.

Good scholarship is born of a good disposition. Since cause is greater than effect a fine nature without learning is better than learning without kindness

Man has vast reasoning power but the greater part of it is false and deceptive. Animals have much less but theirs is true and valuable. Better a small certitude than a great illusion.

Ambitious people who will not content themselves with the benefits of life nor the beauty of the earth are punished by not being able to understand life

Page 36 overleaf: 4

and being unable to apprehend the usefulness and beauty of the universe.

Great love is born of a profound knowledge of that which one loves: what you do not know you cannot love, or at least only poorly.

If what a man loves be base then the lover be abased. When the object loved is suited to him who loves it great joy and felicity will result. When lover and beloved are together there is rest.

Pleasure and pain may be shown bound face to face/ because one is never separated from the other: or again 

Page 35 overleaf: 5

back to back because they are separate opposite or yet again as parts of the same body because both have the same basis. For if the basis of pleasure be an effort to overcome displeasure, the latter is also to be found at the root of varied lascivious pleasures.

Painting declines from generation to generation dissapears [sic] when painters have no source of inspiration except the paintings already made.

Let us not be dupes of the past.

Here is a means which though it seems petty and ridiculous, may yet enable the mind to make various discoveries

Page 34 overleaf: Look attentively at certain old walls overlaid with spots and made of various kinds of stones. On them appear various kinds of landscapes, various aspects of rivers, mountains, rocks trees heaths: battles there are too, swiftly moving figures, strange faces, costumes, animals and a thousand other things which will remind you of some actual object. I have seen clouds and old walls which provided me with lovely and various discoveries and these unrealities, though they be not perfect in any of their parts, yet in their movements and other actions are not lacking in perfection. The same is true of 

Page 33 overleaf: the sound of bells whose tolling makes you think of every imaginable name and word.

Shell-fish are animals whose skeleton is on the outside.

He who thinks but seldom is often mistaken.

He who controls not his lusts becomes as a beast.

He who fears dangers is not often endangered by them.

He who does not repress evil tolerates its existance [sic]. 

Ask advice from the man who has corrected/ his own mistakes. 

Page 32 overleaf: Nothing in this world is more deceptive than our own judgement.

Patience protects us from insult as clothes do from the cold. If as the cold increases you keep adding coats the cold cannot hurt you.

Falsehood wears a mask but nothing is hidden from the light of the sun.

To weary of useful action is to have an advanced taste of death.

Just as a well filled day brings a good night's rest so a well spent life ensures a peaceful death

A well filled life is long.

Copied at Madame Kalachnikoff's. Square Albin - Cachot, Paris. 1949.

Pages 43 overleaf - 48 overleaf, notes and studies on movement and structure following the theories of Hans Hofmann taken from verbal instructions from E.D. Kinzinger, read as follows:

Page 43 overleaf: the first turn. The second turn of the head / look at the Mogdilagni [sic] for this turning & movement & also Picasso - expression lies in distortion = if you see any Rembrant [sic] distorts too!

Page 44 overleaf: A static axis is given to the body by nature & it always hangs together with gravity / Dynamic helps you to get rythm [sic] / = this is rythym [sic] and movement and we must show where the static & Dynamic movement comes from

Page 45 overleaf: = the old fashnd [sic] way / = the spacial [sic] movement / which way does this cube move

Page 46 overleaf: this shows we cannot draw in perspective = if you draw a sky scraper = you could not draw it like this if you were standing in the middle of your subject. We see in gravity and gravity kills perspective -

Page 47 overleaf: in the cube your three axii demonstrate the truth of three-dimentionality [sic] / The three regular bodies and the line - you have only the two lines straight and curved / how can we draw a cube

Page 48 overleaf: everything is therefore in the same direction / five irregular bodies / front