Saturday, October 18, 2008

Drawn to Drawings: The Goldman Collection

Il Guercino (detail of "King David")

This second exhibit
in the new print and drawing galleries
at the Art Institute of Chicago
almost makes up for
the absence of such a gallery
over the last decade.
(the previous space was turned into a coat check room)

But, let's let bygones be bygones
and thank Jean and Steven Goldman
for sharing their magnificent collection
of Italian drawings.

(as well as donating the
new print study facility)


the catalog for the show
won't appear until next April,
so I've got nothing to show yet
except for the above
quick study by Tintoretto.

and this one by Il Guercino

But there are many other good ones
among the dozens of
rather perfunctory sketches
done in preparation for various large,
liturgical paintings.

Most memorable,
were a few life sketches by the Carracci,
and two great studies by Guercino
for the martydom of Saint Bartholomew
(one of which came from A.I.C. 's own collection)

There were also many, many
good, and often small, drawings
by names that were
utterly unfamiliar to me.

Some mention must be made,
I suppose,
of the drawing now attributed to Raphael's own hand,
a "Nativity with Saints" from 1511.

A useful study for a great painting - perhaps
(I can't find the painting on the internet- perhaps it's lost)
but it's not really a memorable drawing for me.

It's just a nice one.

But it was Luca Cambiaso's drawing
of "The Flaying of Maryas" (1547-48)
that made my jaw drop.

Not that I have a special affinity
for depictions of cruelty ---
but Cambiaso was flying
while all his contemporaries were walking.

Here's Cambiaso's drawing
on the same subject
from the A.I.C.'s permanent collection.

The one in the Goldman collection
is about 2 degrees wilder.

And as it turns out,
the A.I.C. already owns
about a dozen drawings
by this artist.

I really like them,
what better time to shown them
than now

The museum also has a painting
attributed to this artist

but I'm afraid it's
not quite this ecstatic

(the following is my un-published review
written for Newcity)

“Drawn to Drawings” Goldman Collection through January 18

The Jean and Steven Goldman Collection of over 140 Italian drawings is like a trip in the time machine back to the working studios of painters back in 16th and 17th Century Rome, Florence, or Genoa. There’s the presentation drawings for patrons, the compositional designs for large liturgical paintings, and the studies of figures or drapery -- mostly done by skilled studio assistants – but also a few from the super-stars of all-time like Salvador Rosa, Tintoretto, and even Raphael.(at least, according to a recent attribution) - all of it done with elegance, grace, and style – and that magnificent Italian sense of space that is so foreign to the pinched and puny realism of our era. But the real highlights of the show are the few virtuoso drawings that just seem to be private visions – like Luca Cambiaso’s “Flaying of Marsyas” and Il Guercino’s two studies for “The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew”. (He may have been cross-eyed – but that guy could really draw!) And don’t miss the little quick sketch by Tintoretto. Wonderful! Way too much to see in one visit – you’ll have to plan to a take off a week for vacation.


Blogger chris miller said...

"It will be nice to see more--I suppose that wild ride is a vignette of Lapith-and-Centaur..."

(this is Marly's comment)

October 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

which one of these is from the Carlos Museum of Emory University?

November 02, 2008  

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