Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance Drawings

Andrea del Verrocchio, Head of a woman. c. 1475. © The Trustees of the British Museum
Andrea del Verrocchio, Head of a woman. c. 1475. © The Trustees of the British Museum

A unique collaboration between the Uffizi in Florence and the British Museum, the display charts the increasing importance of drawing during this period, featuring works by Leonardo da Vinci, Fra Angelico, Jacopo and Gentile Bellini, Botticelli, Carpaccio, Filippo Lippi, Mantegna, Michelangelo, Verrocchio and Titian.

In 15th-century Italy there was a fundamental shift in style and artistic thinking in the use of preparatory drawings. What began as a means of preserving artistic ideas became the ideal way to perfect more naturalistic forms and perspective – a new approach by painters, sculptors and architects.

Infrared and other technology used in conservation research provide fresh insights into how drawing allowed painters to experiment and explore with a freedom not always reflected in their finished works. Examples in the exhibition show the trend towards depiction of movement and expression of emotion, often inspired by classical antiquity.

This exhibition is a unique opportunity to discover the evolution of drawing which laid the foundations of the High Renaissance style of Michelangelo and Raphael. 

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