Drawings are a window to the creative process, especially when it comes to the Italian masters. Preparatory drawings were often thrown away, leaving no trace of this process. Giorgio Vasari, considered to be the first art historian, began collecting some of these drawings to include with his book The Lives of The Artists, which catalogues the lives of noteworthy artists during and leading up to the Renaissance in Italy. Others began collecting and saving drawings as well.
Princeton University Art Museum has a collection of drawings which are now on display at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, FL. The exhibit 500 Years of Italian Drawings is a must-see for artists and art-lovers. I was able to visit the museum earlier this week and was inspired by what I saw. There's an intimate aspect to seeing at these drawings, the initial thoughts behind great works of art. Displayed in a museum, the drawings become just as precious as the final pieces.
The Ringling Museum itself is a hidden gem, a beautiful collection of paintings including 4 monumental works from Peter Paul Ruebens. It's worth the visit and there's still plenty of time to see the exhibition which runs until January 21, 2024. You can find information about the exhibit at the Ringling here. For historical information about the collection, click here.