Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Master Drawings from the Courtauld Gallery

On view at the Frick Collection: Mantegna to Matisse: Master Drawings from the Courtauld Gallery, a glowing exhibition of fifty-eight drawings from Britain's preeminent research center for art history.

I visited the Courtauld during my last trip to London six years ago and enjoyed its collection of Impressionist paintings. The current show at the Frick reveals the depth of its holdings and includes works from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Modern periods.

This exhibit features many pieces that are being shown in New York for the first time, and the roster of artists includes Andrea Mantegna, Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Peter Paul Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Charles-Joseph Natoire, Thomas Gainsborough, Francisco Goya y Lucientes, Joseph Mallord William Turner, Théodore Géricault, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

The show is a humbling reminder that fine draftmanship is skill that has become increasingly rare in this age of mechanical, mass produced, and assistant driven commercial art.

These inspiring drawings will be on view until January 27, 2013. Don't miss them.

Workshop of Hugo van der Goes (c. 1440?–1485)
A Seated Female Saint, c. 1475–85
Pen, point of the brush and gray ink, heightened with white gouache over preliminary black chalk underdrawing, on green prepared paper

Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528)
A Wise Virgin, 1493
Pen and brown ink on paper

Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
Head of the Farnese Hercules, c. 1608–10
Black chalk, heightened with white chalk, on gray paper

Guercino (1591–1666)
A Child Seen from Behind, Standing Between His Mother's Knees, c. 1625
Red chalk with stumping

Pieter Saenredam (1597–1665)
The South Ambulatory of St. Bavokerk, Haarlem, 1634
Pen and brown ink with gray wash, heightened with white gouache, on blue paper

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669)
Two Men in Discussion, 1641
Quill and reed pen in brown ink, with corrections in white gouache

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1683–1754)
The Head of a Boy and of an Old Man, c. 1739–40
Black chalk heightened with white chalk, on gray paper

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867)
Study for La Grande Odalisque, 1814

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
Colchester, Essex, c. 1825–26
Watercolor, white and colored chalks, and gouache, with scraping

Honoré Daumier (1808–79)
Le Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac), c. 1850
Black chalks, black ink wash, watercolor and touches of gouache, with pen and point of the brush in brown and black-gray ink

Georges Seurat (1859–91)
Female Nude, c. 1879–81
Black Conté crayon over stumped graphite

Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
Woman Adjusting Her Hair, c. 1884
Charcoal, chalk, and pastel, on two sheets of buff-colored paper

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