Few, I think, could argue against the power, lyricism and emotion implicit in the line work in drawings by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. And in further contemplating the compulsion to draw, more from Kenneth Clark:
Ingres was one of those artists to whom the outline was something sacred and magical, and the reason is that it was the means of reconciling the major conflict in his art, the conflict between abstraction and sensibility. The difference between what we see and a sheet of white paper with a few thin lines on it is very great. Yet this abstraction is one which we seem to have adopted almost instinctively at an early stage in our development not only in Neolithic graffiti but in early Egyptian drawings. And in spite of its abstract character, the outline is responsive to the least tremor of sensibility.
main image: The Alexandre Lethière Family, 1815
Ingres, Jean, French, 1780–1867
in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
second image: Study for Vicomtesse d’Hausonville, born Louise Albertine de Broglie. This study informed the painting Comtesse d’Haussonville, dated 1845 which hangs in the Frick Collection.