Masters at work
Rather embarrassed to share my pages with such artists, but I so enjoyed the Italian Renaissance Drawings exhibition today that I had to share it. The Renaissance artists are better known for their grand paintings, sculpture and murals that line the churches of Florence, Rome and beyond, but this show offers a rare opportunity to see their very personal working drawings and studies. The drawings are exquisite, and inspiring in their detail, media, technique. You can trace every line and flick of the wrist of these men, every decision they make in their observations. It reinforced my personal feeling that drawing is the purest, most intimate and most expressive of genres. At least it is for me. Here’s my own highlights: Andrea Mantegna’s Allegory of Vice and Virtue, Botticelli’s Autumn, Leonardo’s speedy observations of a child and cat, and Barbari’s watercolour study of a dead partridge. The latter is as fresh as if it was painted yesterday, and reminded me of my own studies of pheasants, hares and rabbits hanging just so.