jeudi 22 avril 2010

Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance drawings


Andrea del Verrocchio, Head of a woman (detail), c. 1475. Charcoal (some oiled ?), heightened with white, pen and brown ink on her left eye, 32.4 x 27.3 cm (whole drawing)
De Fra Angelico à Michel-Ange, dessins de la Renaissance italienne
au British Museum, Londres
du 22 avril au 25 juillet 2010.
Cette exposition s’emploie avec des chefs-d’œuvre “absolus” comme cette Vue de l’Arno à la plume, qui est à la fois le premier dessin de paysage de l’art européen et la plus ancienne œuvre connue de Léonard de Vinci (1473). Il faut dire que les forces réunies sont colossales : les fonds du British Museum et du Cabinet graphique des Offices, dont cette sélection en cent dessins, comprenant Lorenzo Monaco, Michel-Ange ou Boltraffio donne à voir l’évolution du genre de 1400 à 1510, entre le goût de la ligne propre aux Florentins et l’appétit de couleurs de Vénitiens.

Raphael, Cartoon for St George, c. 1504-5. Pen and ink, over black chalk, the outlines of the figures pricked for transfer, 26.5 x 26.7 cm.Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi, Florence
Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance drawings
The British Museum, London
22 April – 25 July 2010

“Drawn from the two foremost collections in the field, this major exhibition features 100 exquisite drawings by Italian Renaissance artists including Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Verrocchio.
A unique collaboration between the Uffizi in Florence and the British Museum, the display charts the increasing importance of drawing during this period, featuring works by Leonardo da Vinci, Fra Angelico, Jacopo and Gentile Bellini, Botticelli, Carpaccio, Filippo Lippi, Mantegna, Michelangelo, Verrocchio and Titian.
In 15th-century Italy there was a fundamental shift in style and artistic thinking in the use of preparatory drawings. What began as a means of preserving artistic ideas became the ideal way to perfect more naturalistic forms and perspective – a new approach by painters, sculptors and architects.
Sandro Botticelli, Allegory of Abundance or Autumn (detail), c. 1480-5. Black and red chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white, on paper with an irregular orange-red ground consisting mainly of red lead, 31.7 x 25.2 cm (whole drawing). © Trustees of the British Museum
Infrared and other technology used in conservation research provide fresh insights into how drawing allowed painters to experiment and explore with a freedom not always reflected in their finished works. Examples in the exhibition show the trend towards depiction of movement and expression of emotion, often inspired by classical antiquity.
This exhibition is a unique opportunity to discover the evolution of drawing which laid the foundations of the High Renaissance style of Michelangelo and Raphael.”

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