July 15, 2010

Getty Exhibition Celebrates the Primacy of Drawing during the Renaissance with Works by Master Draftsmen such as Fra Bartolommeo, Carpaccio, Mantegna, and Pontormo from the Museum's Collection

From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice

At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center

July 20 — October 10, 2010


Portrait of a Young Woman, about 1520-1525, attributed to Andrea Previtali.
Black chalk, heightened with white chalk. The J. Paul Getty Museum.



Il disegno è padre delle tre arti nostre, Architettura, Scultura e Pittura."
["Drawing is the father of the three arts: architecture, painting and sculpture."]
-Giorgio Vasari

LOS ANGELES—Italian Renaissance drawings form the core of the Getty Museum’s celebrated drawings collection. On view from July 20—October 10, 2010, at the Getty Center, From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice brings together spectacular drawings from the Museum’s extensive holdings to explore influential trends in Italian drawing before 1550.

Visitors will have a rare opportunity to examine more than 40 works on paper executed by Italy’s greatest practitioners of drawing, with Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio), Fra Bartolommeo, Andrea del Sarto, and Jacopo Pontormo representing Florence and Rome, and Titian, Vittore Carpaccio, Andrea Mantegna, and Giovanni Bellini representing Venice and the Veneto. The comparative installation provides a greater understanding of the artists’ individual approaches to drawing within the context of their times, against a backdrop of how they each used draftsmanship to solve artistic problems.

"During the Italian Renaissance, drawing evolved into a respected art form in its own right," said Julian Brooks, associate curator of Drawings, the J. Paul Getty Museum. "This exhibition is an exciting opportunity for visitors to explore and compare the principal schools, and to witness the revolutionary techniques that emerged over that vibrant period."

From 1480 to 1550, drawing came of age, representing a fundamental shift in style and artistic thinking in the use of preparatory drawings on paper. While it began as a means of preserving artistic ideas for the design of paintings and sculpture, drawing then evolved from a part of the design process to an esteemed independent activity. By 1550 the writer-artist Giorgio Vasari could declare drawing the "father of the arts."

Artistic strides were made in different Italian regions and cities: The central Italian school, represented by Florence and Rome, focused on the study of the human figure through life drawing and the detailed examination of nature, while the practitioners of the northern Italian school, with Venice as the dominant artistic center, concentrated on the search for tonal and coloristic effects, embracing the use of blue paper and the keen study of light and composition.

Among the highlights in From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice are Nude Man Carrying a Rudder on His Shoulder (15551556), a masterful drawing by Titian, using the blue paper that artists in Venice so often favored; Fra Bartolommeos Madonna and Child with Saints (15101513), an intricate black-and-white chalk drawing that was a design for an important painted altarpiece, and Raphaels Christ in Glory (15191520), in which he worked with a live model and used a range of techniques to draw the figure using black chalk and gray wash, heightened with white chalk on a pale gray prepared paper.

All events are free, unless otherwise noted. Seating reservations are required. For reservations and information, please call (310) 440-7300 or visit

A Revolution on Paper: Why Italian Artists Drew
Hugo Chapman, curator of Italian drawings at the British Museum, explores how drawing radically transformed the thinking and working practice of Renaissance artists such as Mantegna, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Titian. He argues that without paper the creative innovations of Renaissance art would not have come about.
Sunday, August 8, 3:00 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium

Sketching Gallery: Artist in Residence
Join artist-in-residence Peter Zokosky and explore drawing portraits and the figure from a contemporary perspective while working from a life model. Complements the exhibitions The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme and From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice. This is a free, drop-in program.
Thursdays, through August 26, 1:003:00 p.m.
Sketching Gallery

From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice.
Join artist Richard Houston for this daylong drawing workshop comparing the practice of Florentine artists, who favored a classical approach to drawing, and the Venetian artists, who adopted a more painterly approach. Working from a life model, participants explore gesture, treatment of form, and approaches to light through a series exercises and discussions. Course fee $125 (includes materials and lunch). Open to 25 participants.
Wednesday, July 21, 10:30 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Course repeats Wednesday, September 22.
Museum Studios

Curator’s Gallery Talks
Julian Brooks, associate curator of Drawings, the J. Paul Getty Museum, leads a gallery talk on the exhibition.
Thursday, August 19, 2:30 p.m. and Thursday, September 23, 2:30 p.m.
Meet under the stairs in the Museum Entrance Hall.

Master Drawings Close-Up Julian Brooks
The techniques of master draftsmen are explored through enlarged details of their most spectacular drawings.
(Paperback, $24.95)

Note to editors: Images available upon request.



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Julie Jaskol
Getty Communications
(310) 440-7607

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts, and European and American photographs. The Museum’s mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.




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