A distinguishing characteristic of The Florence Academy of Art is that we require all our students to work from life under natural north light, in the tradition of the masters of the past whom we admire: Titian, Rembrandt, and Velázquez, to name a few. Our students do not idly copy their subjects but instead learn to translate nature in a way that is both anatomically accurate and artistically beautiful. Long poses may last three hours a day, five days a week for four or five weeks. This gives artists time to work out problems and produce a competent drawing or painting. Natural light allows students to select a specific area of the painting to keep in sharp focus while peripheral areas remain out of focus, just as the eye sees in nature: there are no edges in natural light, but soft gradations of light to dark.