What is an "Atelier"?

Pronounced “ah-TEL-ee-yay”, the word atelier is a French term meaning "workshop" or "artist’s studio". From the Renaissance up through the 19th century, aspiring artists apprenticed in the atelier of an established artist before they could apply to a guild to become a professional artist.

Today, the word atelier has come to mean a small, independent art school, usually started in the personal studio of a single artist, with a focus on historic art education models, and based on the observation of nature. Atelier students do not work from photographs, which is one of the main ways atelier training is distinct from other kinds of representational art training.

Bouguereau's Atelier at Académie Julian, Paris, 1891 
by Jefferson David Chalfant
de Young Museum of San Francisco


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All artwork by Sadie Valeri unless noted otherwise.

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