Italian Drawings: Highlights from the Collection
Italian Drawings: Highlights from the Collection brings together works by some of the world’s greatest artists. Because they are so sensitive to light, drawings are not kept on permanent display. This exhibition, therefore, gives us a rare chance to appreciate works by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo and Titian.
The drawings on display range in date from Pisanello, in the 1430s, to the great masters of the late 16th and 17th centuries, notably from Rome and Bologna. The Fitzwilliam has an especially strong collection of 18th century Venetian drawings and atmospheric examples of these are a particular highlight of the display. The exhibition continues into the 20th century with drawings by Modigliani and Boccioni.
As Edmund de Waal commented in The Hare with Amber Eyes:
... it is intimacy that matters. Picking up a drawing enables us to ‘catch the thought of the artist in all its freshness, at the very moment of manifestation, with perhaps even more truth and sincerity than in the works that require arduous hours of labour, with the defiant patience of the genius’.
This is a wonder manifesto for drawing. It celebrates the moment of apprehension and the fugitive moment of response — a few traces of ink or a few strokes of the pencil.
The drawings are displayed in order of acquisition date.