Bosch to Bloemaert: Early Netherlandish Drawings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

The National Gallery of Art
4th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

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From October 8 through January 7, there will be an exhibition of early Netherlandish drawings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington

About the exhibition

Some 100 of the finest drawings by Netherlandish artists born before 1585 are brought together in this exhibition from the collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Featured are nearly every form of drawing made by draftsmen throughout the period, from figure studies to stained glass window designs, nature studies, biblical subjects, and genre scenes. The exhibition also gathers works in a variety of media including metalpoint, pen and ink, brush and wash, chalk, charcoal, and watercolor. Highlights include 15th-century studies from the circle of Rogier van der Weyden, two sheets by Hieronymus Bosch, six drawings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and a selection of works by Abraham Bloemaert. A fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition.

About the Boijmans Collection

Founded in the 19th century, Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen possesses one of the world’s finest collections of 15th- and 16th-century Netherlandish drawings. Bosch to Bloemaert offers American audiences an exceptional opportunity to see a selection of 100 master drawings from this collection. The exhibition presents a beautiful and remarkably comprehensive overview of the period, encompassing nearly all media and types of drawings of the time.

Throughout the centuries covered here, drawings served a variety of functions. In the 15th-century workshop, meticulous studies after paintings recorded compositions and motifs for reuse in later works. Several drawings in the exhibition may have served this purpose, including a newly discovered sheet from the orbit of the great Jan van Eyck. A number of preliminary studies offer a glimpse into artistic practices in the 16th and early 17th centuries as well. The exhibition also traces major developments, including the emergence of landscape as a genre, and shifts in attitudes toward drawings, as collectors and artists began to regard them as autonomous works of art. Artists such as Hieronymus Bosch and Hendrick Goltzius made independent drawings in a variety of media that were prized by collectors. Goltzius’s work also exemplifies the increasingly international character of Netherlandish art, as the artist absorbed the influence of the classical and Renaissance works he saw in Italy and adapted the sophisticated style his own countrymen brought home from the imperial court in Prague.

The exhibition is curated by Albert J. Elen, senior curator of drawings and prints, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and Stacey Sell, associate curator, department of old master drawings, National Gallery of Art, Washington.


Hieronymus Bosch

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