Thursday 19 July 2012

Mantegna to Matisse

Five hundred years of drawing are represented by 60 works in Mantegna to Matisse: Master Drawings from the Courtauld Gallery on exhibition in London from 14 June until 9 September 2012. From quick, observed sketches, through studies to fully resolved drawings intended as works in their own right, here is a wonderful opportunity to see how Artists of the western tradition have used drawing over the centuries to explore their subjects. There is always something intimate about the medium, whereby I look at a drawing from the same kind of distance as the Artist did, and feel that I am almost standing in his shoes. The raw, unfinished state of sketches allows you some insight into the Artist's focus at a  moment in time. So each drawing is always exciting in what it reveals about their process. And this exhibition of Artists from Leonardi Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Durer, Rubens, Rembrandt, Ingres, Canaletto, Turner, Cezanne, Degas, Picasso and many others, did not disappoint. Truly an embarrassment of riches!

Here are a few of my personal favourites:-

Seurat - Female Nude
"Very sculptural and just so sensual"

Pontormo - Seated Youth
"Fresh and contemporary - lovely quality of line"

Rembrandt - Saskia sitting up in bed, holding a child
"A moment captured"

Leonardo da Vinci - Study for Saint Mary Magdalene
"The great man thinking, through his drawing"

Van Gogh - A Tile Factory
"Very singular mark making"

Toulouse Lautrec - Au Lit
"Love the focus on the face. Most touching."

I could go on but I might spoil the many surprises to be found when you visit. The exhibition is beautifully hung, as you would expect at the Courtauld, one I can heartily recommend. A very nice tea-room too!

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