Urban Sketchers in Naples

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday August 20, 2014

Urban Sketchers is a global network of artists who seek to discover the world, one drawing at a time. Among the ideas that inspire diverse groups to band together are opportunities to travel for the sake of drawing and to record a time and a place of special meaning.

Brigitte Monnier, a graphic designer based in Paris joined, a workshop organized by an Italian branch of Urban Sketchers last May. The group met in Naples and over the course of four days, they drew indoors at Museu Nitsche, Museo di Zoologia, Museo Archeologico, as well as outdoors in the Spanish Quarter and in the garden of the Palazzo Real.

The workshop was organized by Simonetta Capecchi, an illustrator, curator, and lecturer on the Faculty of Architecture, in Naples. In the invitation, Capecchi wrote, "the program was designed to offer a deep immersion in the city of Naples through its diverse ‘collections.' We'll be sketch-hunting in some of the most famous city museums, but also in some animated historical districts. Sketchers are collectors, obsessed sometimes by the need of filling their sketchbooks with the most exhaustive description of a place. Taking this habit to the extreme, we propose to work on a city inventory, so that every participant will create his/her own Neapolitan catalogue as a personal project.” 

A view from Casa Morra, an old monastery, which hosted the Naples Workshop artists.

In addition to leading the workshop (together with her colleagues Caroline Peyron, Nina Johansson and Federico Gemma) and guiding her band of artists off the beaten track to some of the hidden treasures of Naples, Capecchi also organized an exhibition of the artists’ work at the Ramaglia art supply shop. For the outdoor sketch sessions, she arranged catered picnics for sketch-déjeuners sur l'herb.

Museo di Capodimonte, Laboratorio di Restauro

Museo di Capodimonte

Taking aperitifs at a charming cafe

Sketches made at Museo di Zoologia

Picnic lunch at Casa Morra.  All photos: Brigitte Monnier.

For more about Urban Sketchers, go here, and here. To be informed about other Italian sketching workshops, please email Simonetta Capecchi.

Brigitte Monnier, a graduate of l’École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs à Paris, specializes in graphic design and identity programs for cultural and institutional clients. During a long-term collaboration with Agence Jean Widmer, she created designs for a number of high-profile projects in Paris including Centre Pompidou, Institut du Monde arabe, Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, and Bibliothèque nationale de France à Paris, among others. She continued her collaboration with a variety of architects and designers on urban design and identity projects including Science-Actualités à la Cité des Sciences et de l’industrie à la Villette, musée de Port Louis, Festival de l’Oh !, and Salon du livre et de la press Jeunesse à Montreuil. In her current studio practice she has created design and identity programs for Ville de Royan, Musée de la Marine, Musée d’Orsay, and Institut d’Histoire de l’Art, to name a few. As a founding member of « Une Saison graphique » at l’école supérieure d’art Le Havre-Rouen, she has coordinated this annual program for the past three years.