Enfilade

Exhibition | Drawn from the Antique: Artists and the Classical Ideal

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 7, 2015

From the Teylers Museum:

Drawn from the Antique: Artists and the Classical Ideal
Teylers Museum, Haarlem, 11 March – 31 May 2015
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, 25 June — 26 September 2015

Curated by Adriano Aymonino and Anne Varick Lauder

J.M.W. Turner, Study of the Belvedere Torso, black, red, and white chalks (London: V&A)

J.M.W. Turner, Study of the Belvedere Torso, black, red, and white chalks (London: V&A)

Famous statues from classical antiquity such as the Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoön and the Venus Pudica were for many centuries the chief attractions of Rome. These ‘heroes’, or plaster copies of them, were depicted in innumerable paintings, drawings and prints. It was above all the heroic nude from antiquity that inspired artists from all over Europe to produce new—in some cases trail-blazing—creations. Young artists depicted antique sculptures, or copies of them, as part of their training: this was believed to be the best way of learning how to render the classical ideal. The exhibition will include paintings and drawings of academies of art, workshops, and individual studios in which artists are hard at work vying with the ancients.

The works on display are of outstanding quality. Some of them have never been exhibited before. For this exhibition, the private collector and art dealer Katrin Bellinger has provided on loan a substantial proportion of her collection of works featuring artists’ studios. Bellinger, whose husband is the well-known entrepreneur Christoph Henkel, is a leading actor in the international art trade, specialising in old drawings. Besides the works from Katrin Bellinger’s private collection, the exhibition also includes loans from museums including the British Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

A useful review is available at Lowell Libson, Ltd.

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The catalogue will be available from Artbooks.com:

Adriano Aymonino and Anne Varick Lauder, Drawn from the Antique: Artists and the Classical Ideal (London: Sir John Soane’s Museum, 2015), 256 pages, ISBN: 978-0957339897, $50.

61SsG7WaCGL._SS400_This exhibition and the accompanying catalogue examine one of the most important educational tools and sources of inspiration for Western artists for over five hundred years: drawing after the Antique. From the Renaissance to the nineteenth century, classical statues offered young artists idealised models from which they could learn to represent the volumes, poses and expressions of the human figure and which, simultaneously, provided perfected examples of anatomy and proportion. For established artists, antique statues and reliefs presented an immense repertory of forms that they could use as inspiration for their own creations. Through a selection of thirty-nine drawings, prints and paintings, covering more than four hundred years and by artists as different as Baccio Bandinelli, Federico Zuccaro, Hendrick Goltzius, Peter Paul Rubens, Michael Sweerts, Charles-Joseph Natoire, Henry Fuseli and Joseph Mallord William Turner, this catalogue provides the first overview of a phenomenon crucial for the understanding and appreciation of European art.

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