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-+*Bernini Sculpting in Clay The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York October 3, 2012 – January 6, 2013 Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth February 3 – April 14, 2013 Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) dazzled his contemporaries and dominated the city of Rome. He was an artist equally brilliant at sculpture, architecture, and painting, rising from […]
-+*Old Master Drawings, the successor to The Drawing Site, is now online. In it, Michael Miller offers articles about the history of drawing, the history of collecting, a reference work on the materials and techniques of drawing, and a page of news in the world of drawings: exhibitions, lectures, conferences, etc. There is also a […]
-+*Knowing the Salon du Dessin at first hand, and contemplating its 2012 iteration, I find myself thinking back on on the world of master drawings as it was when I first entered it in 1980 and how it has changed over the years. Attended by over 13,000 people in 2010, the Salon is a large, public event which spans five days. It brings together the larger part of the world’s curators, scholars, collectors, and dealers in the field in a busy, but rarely overcrowded public space, the Palais de la Bourse. One can survey the available stock at the dealers’ stands, attend conferences, lectures, and guided tours, visit exhibitions at the Bourse and at Paris museums, as well as satellite enterprises around the Hôtel Drouot, where drawings can be had at auction, and further afield. There is a wealth of opportunities to learn about drawings, as well as to collect them. In 1980, no one thought that a fair of this size might ever exist in the field, and in its early years, during the 1990s, no one ever thought it would grow to these dimensions.
-+*The crowds begin as one approaches the rear of the building: a long line, snaking back on itself contains those hopeful of gaining one of the 500 tickets on sale each day; further on, is a smaller queue of the luckier ones who had snapped up all the online tickets during the first three days of sale. Overall, the crowds are well behaved—for this is England—and approach their goal with good humor and a touch of the spirit of Dunkirk as they descend upon the National Gallery’s runaway success, Leonardo: Painter at the Court of Milan. It is not a large show, only some sixty paintings and drawings, but then Leonardo only began a score of paintings in a career spanning four decades. Of those paintings, fifteen autograph works survive, and four of these are generally deemed incomplete. To assemble almost every surviving painting from Leonardo’s Milanese period in London is a notable achievement, and these works are supplemented by others associated with his followers and sometime collaborators in the most sustained period of productivity in the artist’s life.
Pollinated with the spirit of the Renaissance, spring-like, fresh and full of individual passion and wonder, the Pre Raphaelites went back to a state of painting when the Renaissance was in its stride if not its prime. Rather than seeing painting as a continuous development up to their own day, they when back to an approach and a world view at a point when art knew where it was going, striving toward a most sublime peak, a peak attained perhaps twice in western human history. The Pre Raphaelites took as their teachers and masters those of Titian’s, Michelangelo’s and Raphael’s and via intelligent imitation that went beyond mere copying they progressed, very roughly speaking, through the styles of the Italian Renaissance, and at times managed to break free of their teachers’ styles. They even wrote poems too. One can see something of this progression in the quite broad and thorough collection of their drawings and watercolors currently on display in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, most of which come from the Tate and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
-+*The first step towards understanding Renaissance drawing is to take stock of the plethora of reasons for its existence, ranging from doodles to elaborate studies in human anatomy. What started as a design for sculpture may well have evolved into a preparatory sketch for painting. Drawing was the artist’s way of jotting down an idea before losing it and before knowing precisely what, if anything, it might develop into later.
-+*Master Drawings New York 2010 Preview: Friday January 22, 4pm to 9pm Galleries open: Saturday January 23 through Saturday January 30 Saturdays 11am–5pm Sunday January 24, 3pm–7pm Mon–Fri 11am–6pm Telephone enquiries: +1 212 755 8500 Web: http://www.masterdrawingsinnewyork.com For the fourth year Master Drawings New York will bring together a distinguished group of dealers from Europe and the United States […]
-+*Portrait of the Artist: The Burt Britton Collection at Bloomsbury Auctions, New York, NY Thursday, September 24th at 2:00pm Only in New York could a man like Burt Britton pursue successive careers as bartender and bookseller, both equally supportive for his passion for the arts, especially the arts of the word. His enthusiasm came to […]