Renowned during his lifetime for the decoration he painted on sumptuous Genoese palaces, Luca Cambiaso was one of the first artists whose graphic works spawned the interest of great collectors, including those outside of Italy.
His work grasped the interest of French banker Everhard Jabach and King Louis XIV in particular, and the acquisition of his drawings remained steady over the centuries. Cambiaso was appreciated by such refined collectors as Pierre-Jean Mariette — art historian and great collector in the early eighteenth century —, Saint-Morys and the Comte d'Orsay, whose tastes contributed to the enrichment of the Louvre collection.
This exhibition presents some fifty drawings by the artist and his school from the Louvre's Department of Prints and Drawings. Their diversity reveals the art of a great innovator, who first set his gaze on Michelangelo and Perino del Vaga, then Correggio and the late Venetians, as shown in his painting of Venus and Adonis donated by the Société des Amis du Louvre in 2008. It brings to light a dazzling artist with quick and confident strokes, and helps gain a better grasp of what function drawing fulfilled for Cambiaso, his assistants — he trained a number of artists — and his followers. It reveals the imagination of an artist whose graphic inventions held such fascination for twentieth-century creators.
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