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Drawings and Prints rotation

Drawings and Prints

Selections from the Permanent Collection

July 14–October 4, 2009

The current rotation highlights the grandeur and glory of Baroque Rome with drawings by Annibale Carracci, Pietro da Cortona, Gianlorenzo Bernini, and others for some of the most prestigious artistic commissions of the day; etchings and engravings by Agostino Carracci and Pietro Testa, premier printmakers who were also gifted draftsmen; and illustrated books recording the splendid architectural marvels and urban topography of the Eternal City. Also on view is one curiosity: the only print attributed to the celebrated painter Caravaggio.

Shifting to nineteenth-century France, the installation also includes a large-scale drawing, "The Round Dance," by Louis Janmot (1814–1892), which was done in preparation for the mural cycle called Poem of the Soul, now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. Janmot's lyrical style of rendering dancers in diaphanous gowns is echoed in a selection of contemporary figure studies drawn in graphite and chalk by Ingres, Delacroix, Couture, Degas, and others.

Finally, in recognition of the four hundredth anniversary of Henry Hudson's arrival in what we now know as New York Harbor, a selection of early prints records Manhattan's growth from a small Dutch settlement into a vibrant American city. Views from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries show the island's defining rivers, busy streets, and civic architecture. Exhibited for the first time is a document signed in 1660 by Peter Stuyvesant, who was Director-General of New Netherlands, to grant trading privileges to a Dutch merchant named Tomas Wandel.