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Italian Renaissance Drawing: Design, Form and Function

This course will look at the powerhouse behind the Italian Renaissance – the drawing.

Looking at a variety of drawings across 300 years you will see examples of the practise from Verrocchio, Raphael, and Ghirlandaio. There will also be individual classes dedicated to Leonardo and Michelangelo. The course will demonstrate how behind every great Renaissance painting is an equally astounding drawing. Artists were judged firstly not by the quality of their paintings, but by their skill in drawing. We will bring together some of those paintings with their accompanying drawings to demonstrate the importance of drawing upon the Renaissance without which there could be no Renaissance. You will examine how these, at first purely functional objects, were made and how they would eventually be regarded as works of art in their own right. The 8 lectures will be complemented by 2 visits to the Prints and Drawings Departments of the Royal Collection, Windsor and the British Museum.

The Relationship between Drawing and Printingmaking in the Renaissance

In this lecture we will explore the extent to which print-making influenced drawing and vice-a-versa, and the transition between drawing and print-making which is evident. The late 15thC saw the establishment of printing firms in trading cities such as Rome and Antwerp. Drawings were regularly commissioned from well-known masters expressly to be etched or engraved for sale. You will look at this relationship and their influence on each other and how changes in printmaking changed the way drawings were executed. Beginning with the early development of the woodcut, niello and intaglio processes, alighting on key draughtsmen and their contributions. You will also look at types of drawing which became suited to printing, why certain methods of drawing were not suited to print production, and those types of drawing that directly affected print production.


Mr Leslie Primo | talks


Date and Time:

12 November 2015 at 10:45 am


Half Day



The University Women's Club
2 Audley Square

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