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A Road in a Gorge near Naples

Thomas Jones (British, 1742–1803). A Road in a Gorge near Naples, 1782. Watercolor, gum arabic glazes, over graphite; Sheet: 14 3/4 × 19 1/8 in. (37.5 × 48.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Mary Trumbull Adams Trust Fund, Brooke Russell Astor Bequest, 2006 and 2010 Benefit Funds, 2013 (2013.451)

Drawings and Prints

Selections from the Permanent Collection

November 19, 2013–February 10, 2014

British and Scottish drawings on view include figure and portrait studies by Thomas Gainsborough, Allan Ramsay, John Hamilton Mortimer, David Allan, and George Richmond. Also on view is a group of landscapes in graphite, ink, and watercolor by Gainsborough, Thomas Jones, and Thomas Sandby; these works demonstrate an expanding artistic commitment from the 1750s through the 1780s to sketching outdoors, as well as an increasingly masterly and expressive use of watercolors. Many of these works are recent acquisitions.

A group of chalk drawings highlights the different effects achieved with the medium by some of the great Flemish artists of the seventeenth century, including Peter Paul Rubens and Jacob Jordaens. There is also a selection of nineteenth-century French, German, British, and Russian tree studies. In this group are drawings and a print by Paul Cézanne, Heinrich Dreber, Edward J. Poynter, and Odilon Redon.

Other representations of nature can be found in a selection of horse studies by artists ranging from the Florentine Andrea del Verrocchio to Eugène Delacroix and Edgar Degas. Another section is devoted to the flower bouquet. An independent genre from the late sixteenth century onward, the bouquet has remained a constant subject of study and invention for many artists in a vast array of media through the present day. The selection includes early works by Joris Hoefnagel and Erasmus Hornick and follows the genre into modern times with works by Pablo Picasso, David Hockney, and American artists Robert Kipniss and Mary Frank.

Also on display is a group of sixteenth-century prints that demonstrates the centrality of the Bible in Christian imagery and includes woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden, Hans Burgkmair, and Lucas Cranach. In this grouping are also a late fifteenth-century album with prints and a Limoges book cover for a religious text. Another selection exhibits a delight in whimsical and enigmatic subjects by exploring the works of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Francisco de Goya, both of whom explored artistic freedom and fantasy late into the eighteenth century.