Drawings and Prints from the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art: Paolo Pagani, John Singer Sargent, Denijs Calvaert, Jacques Callot, Pierre Paul Prud'hon, Mariano Fortuny
Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Exhibitions subtitled “Selections from the Permanent Collection” never sound dramatic, but shows of master drawings from collections like those of the Met (or the Morgan Library or the National Gallery) are actually rare treasures.

Drawings and prints are considered delicate, subject to light damage and are shown infrequently. Your chances of seeing the same master drawing twice in your lifetime are slim, though it does happen.

The Met and the National Gallery in DC are notable for their efforts to rotate out selections from their superb collections on a regular basis (the Philadelphia Museum of Art was doing this for a while, but sadly seems to have abandoned the practice).

The current selection from the Met will be on display until January 4, 2015, and runs concurrently with About Face: Human Expression on Paper, another exhibition from the permanent collection, that ends on December 13, 2015.

Both have online galleries with links to the individual entries for the works, most of which have download or zoom links to high-res images.

If you have never seen an exhibition of master drawings in person, you should take advantage of the chance if you have it. Drawings and prints, I think, suffer even more in reproduction than paintings, giving up their most sublime characteristics only when confronted in person — not that there isn’t a good deal of enjoyment to be had from web or print images.

(Images above, with details: Paolo Pagani, John Singer Sargent, Denijs Calvaert, Jacques Callot, Pierre Paul Prud’hon, Mariano Fortuny)

4 Replies to “Drawings and Prints from the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art”

  1. Sargent’s drawing looks so… modern. I say it in the best possible sense. Obviously, centuries separate him from some of them, but Fortuny was a contemporary, and Prudhon worked only a few decades earlier…

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