EARLY NETHERLANDISH DRAWINGS
A collection of 100 drawings are shown in the National Gallery Art’s West Building in an exhibition called Bosch to Bloemart: Early Netherlandish Drawings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. This rich collection includes masters such as Pieter Bruegel I, Abraham Bloemaert, Hieronymus Bosch, Hans Bol, and Hendrick Goltzius among others. The drawings include figure studies, nature, and biblical themes—and also the emerging interest by artists in foreign destinations with new landscape subjects for 15th and 16th century printmaking. During the late 16th century demand increased from collectors when drawings were sought as independent works of art along with paintings; drawings were still, of course, used for preparatory studies for a wide range of decorative arts. Northern European artists such as Bruegel traveled to Italy to study classical antiquity and the techniques and perspectives used by Da Vinci and Titian. One of the most influential of the northern artists is Hendrick Goltzius (1559-1617) whose allegories and portraits reflected his expertise in the short-lived mannerist movement which was replaced by the rise in naturalism. Mannerism (popular from the mid to late 16th century) was characterized by its flair and dazzle and distorted and exaggerated poses. Visitors to this show can also study the changing trends in techniques used by the artists prior and following 1500, from metalpoint which provided extreme clarity and detail to applications of pen and ink and chalk used later. It may be a challenging show for the casual visitor to enjoy if only for a rapid walk-through; however the National Gallery provides excellent wall notes that deserve reading for greater understanding. Also, a show catalogue, “Bosch to Bloemaert” is available in the NGA shops. The show will run until Jan. 7, 2018.