This exhibition includes a selection of early and mid-sixteenth century drawings and prints by Renaissance artists for whom ancient sculpture remained a perpetual source of inspiration. The selection reveals some of the ways in which draftsmen and printmakers from different parts of Europe responded to the common heritage of classical antiquity. Also on display is an exceptional group of prints after designs by Frans Floris de Vriendt (1519/20–1570), the foremost Netherlandish artist of the mid-sixteenth century. They showcase Floris's innovative treatment of mythology and history.
A group of recently acquired British landscape drawings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by Joseph Farington (1747–1821), William Havell (1782–1857), John Glover (1767–1849), and William Fraser Garden (1856–1921), accompanied by printed landscapes of the same period, is also on view. These are complemented by male portrait studies by British and Irish artists Jonathan Richardson, Sr. (1665–1745), Thomas Frye (1711/12–1762), William Hoare (ca. 1707–1792), and Cornelius Varley (1781–1873).
A selection of etchings from the second half of the nineteenth century by painters from England, France, Russia, and the United States, including Ivan Shishkin (1832–1898) and James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), is also featured.
A group of vibrant color prints from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries associated with children's imagery is on exhibit, in addition to a selection of color woodcuts that celebrate the summer landscape by twentieth-century European and American artist such as Cyril B. Power (1874–1951) and Margaret Patterson (1867–1950).
Circus imagery is the subject of a selection of drawings and prints by nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists, including Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901), Otto Dix (1891–1969), and Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), and images of figures walking or in movement are showcased in works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938), Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010), and William Kentridge (born 1955). The department's first digital animation derived from drypoints, Untitled – Grand Army Plaza 3.09, by Kakyoung Lee (born 1965) is also included in this selection.
Image: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German, 1880-1938). Bathers Throwing Reeds, 1909. Woodcut. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Janet Lee Kadesky Ruttenberg Fund, in honor of Colta Ives, 2012 (2012.201)