British Museum blog

Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance drawings

Hugo Chapman, Exhibition Curator

As curator of the soon-to-open exhibition, Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance drawings I’ll be writing weekly about what’s happening behind the scenes as the show takes shape before it opens to the public on 22 April.

The exhibition consists of a hundred of the greatest Italian fifteenth-century drawings from the British Museum and the Uffizi in Florence.

The process of selection from the two best collections of Renaissance drawings came close to fulfilling my childhood dream of being locked in a sweet shop… the difference being that I was picking out Leonardos, not sherbet dib dabs.

For the last three years I’ve imagined how the drawings would look in the soaring space of the Reading Room. This week we’ve started to hang the drawings, so finally the waiting is over.

Will the drawings that I thought would work so well together turn out to be good neighbours? Time will tell.

Next week I’ll be back with an insider’s peek at the exhibition installation.

Hope you enjoy following our progress.

Filed under: Exhibitions, Italian Renaissance drawings, , , ,

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Michelangelo was born #onthisday in 1475.
Michelangelo created sophisticated studies of profile heads, such as this one, as works of art in their own right. He probably made this highly polished drawing as a gift for a close friend. It shows an idealised female beauty who, in keeping with Michelangelo's ideal of beauty, has rather masculine features.
The intricate arrangement of the woman's plaited hair, which flows out of the side and back of her bizarrely strapped helmet, is reminiscent of earlier Florentine portraits. Michelangelo may have been influenced by works from the 1470s, including a painting of Cleopatra by Piero di Cosimo and Leonardo's exquisitely worked studies of heads, including his early metalpoint depiction of a leonine warrior.
#art #artist #Michelangelo #drawing #history Happy Holi! This beautiful painting depicts the celebrations of the Hindu festival 
#Holi2015 #Holi #festival #painting Here’s an illustration by Helen Binyon of the Bennett girls from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice #WorldBookDay #JaneAusten #PrideandPrejudice #author #books #illustration Many famous authors have studied in the Museum's Reading Room including Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker! #WorldBookDay #history #author #museum #library This papyrus from the Book of the Dead of Ani is over 3,000 years old! #WorldBookDay #papyrus #books #history Today is #WorldBookDay, and we’re celebrating all things books! Beatrix Potter's endearing characters and stories are beloved the world over. Here’s an illustration to her book The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies (1909)
#BeatrixPotter #books #illustrations #drawing
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