Published: October 7, 2008
A group of rarely seen and unpublished Sixteenth through Eighteenth Century Italian drawings will be highlighted in “Drawn to Drama: Italian Works on Paper, 1500‱800,” an exhibition on view at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute October 12⁊anuary 4. Michael Cassin, director of the Clark’s Center for Education in the Visual Arts, will present the opening lecture on Saturday, October 11, at 3 pm.
Selected from the Clark’s collection of Old Master drawings and the private collection of Robert Loper, “Drawn to Drama” will offer an opportunity to view this fine group of Italian drawings that are dramatic in subject, composition, and execution. Sixty-five drawings including those by Giorgio Vasari, Guercino, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Salvator Rosa, Luca Giordano and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo are featured.
“The Clark is pleased to be exhibiting for the first time the Robert Loper Collection along with a large selection of our own Old Master drawings,” said Clark director Michael Conforti. “It is an exciting opportunity to bring these important works to the public in an exhibition that reveals the artistic process of Sixteenth through Eighteenth Century Italian artists.”
“Drawn to Drama” contains a wide range of works, from small rapid sketches to larger and elaborately finished drawings, all focusing on the human figure. The exhibition explores how Italian artists of the Sixteenth⁅ighteenth Centuries used the body as the primary expressive vehicle in depicting scenes from classical history, mythology and the Bible. These artists were particularly adept at using facial expression, gesture and posture to convey miraculous, visionary and dramatic events in a compelling way.
A group of ten drawings by two great draftsmen of Eighteenth Century Venice, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his son Domenico Tiepolo, are a highlight of the exhibition. These rarely exhibited drawings from the Clark’s collection have not been shown as a group for several decades. Acquired by Clark founder Sterling Clark in the first decades of the Twentieth Century, they are in pristine condition and therefore demonstrate the two artists’ mastery of pen, ink and wash technique that is the hallmark of their style. Giovanni Batista’s handling of ink wash is especially broad and fluid, while that of Domenico is more descriptive and detailed. The exhibition allows the viewer to directly compare the two artists’ abilities.
Half of the drawings featured in the exhibition are from the private collection of Robert Loper. In March 2004, Loper was listed by Art and Antiques as one of the “100 Top Collectors” in America. His collection of Italian Old Master drawings is significant and largely unknown to the public, as it has never been published or exhibited. The drawings exhibited in “Drawn to Drama” are among the finest in his collection and represented the breadth and quality of its contents.
The Clark is at 225 South Street. For more information, www.clarkart.edu or 413-458-2303.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm