This installation features preparatory designs for sculptural projects and studies of existing sculpture. Spanning the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, these drawings by Italian and Northern European masters, including Antonio Pollaiuolo, Giambattista Tiepolo, and Jacques-Louis David, highlight the multifaceted relationship between the two art forms and the function of drawings in the process of designing sculpture. The exhibition includes sculptural designs made by painters and artists who were also active as sculptors, whose studies relate to their own three-dimensional works.
The preparatory studies on view, including rare examples from the early Renaissance, relate to a wide range of sculptural projects—from wall tombs and freestanding equestrian monuments to armor and architectural reliefs. Several highly finished examples likely served as presentation drawings, or modelli, for patrons. Among the drawings made after sculpture, few record contemporary works; the majority represent copies of renowned ancient Greek and Roman monuments. The copying of ancient sculpture, a seminal aspect of Renaissance culture, continued to play a significant role in artistic training and practice for centuries to follow.
Antonio Pollaiuolo (Italian, Florence ca. 1432–1498 Rome). Study for an Equestrian Monument, ca. 1482–83. Pen and brown ink, light and dark brown wash; outlines of the horse and rider pricked for transfer. 11 1/16 x 10 in. (28.1 x 25.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.410)