Lines from Lifeby Matthew Innis |
In celebration of the generous, ongoing gift of Herbert and Carol Diamond, this exhibition explores an array of figure drawings by leading nineteenth-century French artists. Works by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the Flandrin family, Eugène Delacroix, Edgar Degas, Jean-Léon Gérôme, and Odilon Redon illustrate the ebb and flow between academic traditions of drawing the body and freer approaches that challenged those conventions. Detailed studies addressing a model’s features and form, and occasionally, movement within their physical surroundings, commingle with intimately scaled sketches that explore gesture and pose with spare lines. Compositions bearing grid lines and handwritten annotations illuminate the relationship between drawing and other media, including painting and printmaking. Many of the drawings reveal the diversity of effects achieved with graphite, the primary instructional medium before mid-century.
This exhibition highlights approximately thirty works from the Diamonds’ remarkable collection of more than 100 French drawings and sculptures, which the couple assembled over the past half century. Choice figure studies from the Clark’s collection will complement the selection, underscoring the varied uses and functions of figure drawing in nineteenth-century France.