National Portrait Gallery The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt exhibition catalogue

The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt

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'a vivid and unexpected glimpse into the studios of the past'- the

The Encounter at National Portrait Gallery

Recording likeness was fundamental to the idea of the Renaissance, and capturing lifelike figures in highly resolved paintings and sculptures relied upon accurate observational skills in drawing. This book brings together fifty exquisite observational portrait drawings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods , including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Durer, Holbein, Bernini, Carracci, Clouet , Rubens and Rembrandt.

The drawings produced in Europe in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries by such artists as Pisanello, Gozzoli and Leonardo are like no others that had been seen before. They moved away from the use of medieval patternbooks as source materials, and instead they studied the figure, and the face, from life. The authors explore the development of portrait drawing at this early date and its evolution in the 1500s and 1600s, examining the drawing tools and media used – from silverpoint to coloured chalks – and considering the individuals depicted in these often intimate portraits, many of whom remain unidentified. 
This book includes illuminating essays on drawing practice by the Gallery’s Curatorial Director Tarnya Cooper, and on the British collecting of portrait drawings by Jeremy Wood. Putting the emphasis on the sitter, the plates are divided into sections such as Self-Portraits, Workshop Models and Assistants and Family Portraiture, and each image is accompanied by a text that examines in more detail the artist, the sitter and the sitting itself. Although some of the drawings were perhaps never intended to leave the artists’ studios, these works are arguably the most engaging and powerful impressions of personal likeness in the history of art.
  • Authors: Charlotte Bolland, Collections Curator Sixteenth Century, National Portrait Gallery and Tarnya Cooper, Curatorial Director, National Portrait Gallery
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Date published: July 2017
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1855147751
  • Product Dimensions: 29 x 23 cm

'a vivid and unexpected glimpse into the studios of the past'the

'Delightful, engaging show of the European Renaissance portrait drawings of terrific immediacy, virtuosity and range' - FT

'These are European portrait drawings, not paintings, from the Renaissance to the Baroque, which means from the middle 1400s to the middle 1600s, by the likes of Leonardo, Pontormo, Dürer, Parmigianino, Holbein, Clouet. They have a breathing immediacy about them. We feel we are but a warm breath away, even when we stand removed. They buttonhole us, just as the sitters have themselves been buttonholed. We are eyeball to eyeball' - Independent

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