Sixteenth-century Northern Italian Drawings

13 March 2003 – 29 June 2003

13 March 2003 - 13 April 2003

This exhibition, the second in a series presenting Italian Renaissance drawings of the Museum of Fine Arts, offered a selection from the Northern Italian drawings of the Cinquecento. (The sixteenth-century Central Italian drawings were on view in 1998). The 64 works shown as second suggested the complexity of the development of sixteenth-century Italian drawing in the northern regions, focusing on the most significant artistic centers: from Venice through Parma and Bologna, to Milan and Genoa. According to Central Italian, principally Florentine artists, their mastery of drawing far surpassed that of the Northern Italian contemporaries. This exhibition disproved their opinion, since even this relatively limited selection contained works by the greatest draughtsmen of the age. Although Leonardo da Vinci was active in Milan for many years and determined the artistic development of the century even in Northern Italy, he was and always remained Florentine. However, Correggio, Parmigianino, Tintoretto, Veronese and Palladio, who were excellent draughtsmen as well, originated from the northern region and were distinguished masters there. About a dozen masterpieces by them appeared in the exhibition, along with important and interesting works rarely visible for the public, created by thirty-five lesser-known Venetian, Emilian, Lombardian and Ligurian artists. A peculiarity of the exhibition was that we showed for the first time studies drawn on the backside of several significant sheets, which, for technical reasons, had never been visible before. The catalogue written in Hungarian and in English, contains the color reproduction of each exhibited drawing.

Curator of the exhibition: Lóránd Zentai