Indepth Arts News: |
"Pisanello: Painter to the Renaissance Court"
2001-10-24 until 2002-01-13
UK United Kingdom
One of the main events of the National Gallery's Renaissance Autumn
programme, the exhibition 'Pisanello: Painter to the Renaissance Court',
opens this month. This is the first exhibition devoted to the artist and his
work in this country. It brings together the four undisputed panel paintings
by Pisanello (c.1394-1455) that survive, including two from the Gallery's
The exhibition will focus on these works, examining their
subject matter and the preparatory drawings, including a group of remarkable
coloured nature studies that Pisanello produced for them.
Many lively and charming details of animals and birds feature in both
Pisanello's paintings, and his preparatory sketches. One of the drawings in
the exhibition is the study of a running hare. This was probably copied from
a pattern book ñ the bound collection of drawings in which artists recorded
motifs for future reference for themselves and their studio. These drawings
were rarely made from nature, but were usually copied from other works of
art. However, Pisanello has taken a standard type and then added
naturalistic detail to the fur and face, after studying a dead hare. Some
areas of the drawing, such as the hind legs, have been left unpainted to
exploit the colour of the paper. The running hare appears in the National
Gallery's painting of the 'Vision of Saint Eustace', which is included in
the exhibition. However it has been reversed, and now runs from left to
right, away from the saint and his pack of hounds.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensively illustrated
catalogue, price £25 paperback and £35 hardback, available from the National
Portrait of Margherita Gonzaga, c.1438-40
Paris, Musée du Louvre.