The Princeton University Art Museum’s collection of Italian drawings is renowned for its quality, scope, and scholarly importance. This exhibition showcases ninety-five works from the late fifteenth to early twentieth centuries by numerous artists including Parmigianino, Guercino, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, and Amedeo Modigliani. 500 Years of Italian Drawings explores topics such as technique, artistic education, experimentation, and the pivotal role played by drawing in the creative process. As the backbone of training and imagination since the Renaissance, drawing allowed artists to conceptualize and realize a design on paper, constituting the first mark-making step toward a project’s final realization as a painting, sculpture, or building. Representations of the human figure dominate the exhibition, signifying the centrality of this subject in Italian art. These arresting works—drawn from life and the imagination—convey the universal appeal of drawing as one of the most intimate and revelatory manifestations of artistic practice.
A related exhibition, Guercino’s Friar with a Gold Earring: Fra Bonaventura Bisi, Painter and Art Dealer, will be on view in adjacent galleries of the Searing Wing.
This exhibition is organized by the Princeton University Art Museum.
Image: Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680; born Naples; died Rome), Seated Male Nude, ca. 1618–24. Red chalk heightened with white chalk on buff laid paper; 42.2 × 27.2 cm. Princeton University Art Museum. Museum purchase, Laura P. Hall Memorial Fund and Fowler McCormick, Class of 1921, Fund (2005-128)