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"The Draftsman’s Art: Master Drawings from the National Gallery of Scotland"
2000-12-12 until 2001-02-25
Frick Collection
New York, NY, USA

The Frick Collection is the first American venue of a special touring exhibition this winter that offers a major survey of drawings, The Draftsmans Art: Master Drawings from the National Gallery of Scotland. On view at The Frick Collection from December 12, 2000 through February 25, 2001, the exhibition features a selection of eighty master works on paper -- some in this country for the first time -- from this world-renowned collection of drawings. Demonstrating the scope of materials and stylistic approaches to draftsmanship by English, Dutch, Flemish, French, German, Italian, and Scottish artists from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries, the exhibition features work by Leonardo da Vinci (1451-1519), Raphael (1483-1520), Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), François Boucher (1703-1770), William Blake (1757-1827), Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), and Georges Seurat (1859-1891), among others.

The exhibition is accompanied by a presentation organized by The Frick Collection and offered at this venue only. Generously on loan from the National Gallery of Scotland from December 5, 2000 through January 21, 2001, is one of its most popular paintings, Sir Henry Raeburns The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch (c. 1784), which will be on view along with two other portraits by the artist that are from the Fricks own collection.

The Draftsmans Art was organized by the American Federation of Arts and the National Gallery of Scotland. Partial support has been provided by the Eugene V. & Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust. Local support for the exhibition was provided, in part, through the generosity of the Fellows of The Frick Collection. Presentation of The Draftsmans Art in New York was coordinated for The Frick Collection by its new Chief Curator, Colin B. Bailey. The exhibition travels to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (March 16 through June 10, 2001) following its New York showing.

Guest curator Michael Clarke, Keeper, the National Gallery of Scotland, selected a range of drawings in a variety of techniques, including chalk, oil, and silverpoint, as well as watercolors and gouaches. In the introduction to the catalogue accompanying the exhibition, he writes that the exhibition contains superb works from the earliest donations to the collection, significant reattributions, striking discoveries, and recent acquisitions of the highest quality. The National Gallery is the most important repository of drawings by Scottish artists or of Scottish subjects, and these are also represented here.

The exquisite draftsmanship of the Italian Renaissance is revealed in Leonardos Studies of Paws of a Dog (ca. 1480) and Raphaels refined Study for the Madonna del Pesce (ca. 1512), both recent acquisitions. Representing the mastery of Netherlandish draftsmanship are two works by Rubens, as well as two sheets by his contemporary Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), one of them his graceful Female Nude, Seen from the Back. Drawings from the British school include examples of portraiture, genre scenes, landscapes, and historical subjects. Included are Scottish subjects such as Horse Fair on Bruntsfield Links, Edinburgh (1750) by Paul Sandby (1725-1809); Cullen Castle, Banffshire by Robert Adam (1728-1792); and The Burying of the Scottish Regalia by David Wilkie (1785-1841), and Allan Ramsays (1713-1784) tender portrait Head of Margaret Lindsay, the Artists Second Wife, Looking Down (ca. 1776). Outstanding examples of French draftsmanship are included, among them Bouchers The Rape of Europa and two drawings by Ingres: Portrait of Mlle Albertine Hayard and The Dream of Ossian (mid-1880s). Seurats small yet monumental Study for Une Baignade (ca. 1883), a study for the artists 1883-1884 Bathers at Asnières (Une baignade, Asnières), is also featured.

Georges Seurat (1859-1891),
French, Study for Une Baignade, c. 1883,
12 1/2 x 9 3/4 in.,
conté crayon on paper,
National Gallery of Scotland,
Photo: American Federation of Arts

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