Italian Renaissance Drawings from the Musée du Louvre, Paris - Bacou, Roseline; Viatte, Françoise - Yale University Press

Art and Architecture

Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press 

Italian Renaissance Drawings from the Musée du Louvre, Paris

Roman, Tuscan, and Emilian Schools, 1500–1575

  • Roseline Bacou and Francoise Viatte
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These beautiful Italian Renaissance drawings, lent to us by the Cabinet des Dessins of the Musée du Louvre, come as the latest wave of French generosity to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. They follow upon the glorious tapestries lent to us in early 1974 for the exhibition "Masterpieces of Tapestry from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century." Loan exhibition of such great works of art were the first positive results of agreements between the National Museums of France and the Metropolitan Museum intended to facilitate the exchange of works of art and personnel between France and America.

In October, 1973, the Metropolitan Museum sent to Paris an exhibition that included its finest drawings by French artists of the nineteenth century; this splendid selection of drawings by Italian Renaissance masters from the Louvre is France's response to New York's loan to Paris.

In central Italy at the High Renaissance draftsmanship reached a peak of formal and functional perfection. Painters and sculptors were then first and foremost draftsmen, and by drawing—il disegno—was meant not only the drawn preparation for a finished work of art, but also the underlying intellectual plan of that work. Draftsmanship was a means both to analyze the outside world and to create a new ideal artistic world. These two functions of drawing—examination and creation—were investigated by the great earlier Renaissance master, Leonardo da Vinci, and they were perfected by his spiritual followers, Michaelangelo and Raphael, whose drawings dominate this exhibition and publication.

The catalogue includes illustrations of the drawings in the exhibition, organized in alphabetical order, with descriptive entries by conservators Roseline Bacou and Francoise Viatte from the Cabinet des Dessins at the Musée du Louvre. [This book was originally published in 1974 and has gone out of print. This edition is a print-on-demand version of the original book.]