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Allegories for Learning

16th to 18th-Century Italian Works on Paper from the Georgia Museum of Art

On View:
Saturday, June 10, 2023 — Sunday, September 10, 2023

In the history of European art, drawing became valued as an independent art form around the end of the 14th century. In studios or academies, apprentices repeatedly copied prints or drawings to improve their observational skills and hone their technique. With increased proficiency came more challenging exercises, such as using plaster casts and live models for arts instruction.

This exhibition of works on paper illuminates how a drawing’s appearance reflects its geographical origin and the hand of an artist. The work’s formal qualities—media, support, variation of the lines—can point to a specific region in Italy. The location then makes it easier to narrow down the list of contenders for authorship. This attribution process illustrates how influential artists who primarily lived in cultural centers, such as Florence, Bologna, and Venice, shaped generations of pupils and followers throughout Italy and beyond.

Drawing played a central role in the creative process, transmittal of ideas, and spread of artistic styles. The works included here reinforce the power of drawings as a rich and varied medium.

The exhibition is curated by Nelda Damiano, Ph.D., Pierre Daura Curator of European Art, Georgia Museum of Art.

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